by Hatje Cantz Publishers

Amy Cutler

Brooklyn-based artist Amy Cutler makes detailed narrative paintings that look like they belong in an old children’s fairy tale book. In most of her paintings the figures are usually women or some sort of hybrid women in a surreal scene. In Traction, women are pulling a house with their braided hair, like rope. In Egg Collection, the woman’s head is a basket full of eggs and some of the chickens have women’s heads. The work is very much in the same family as one of my favorites- Marcel Dzama, who composes drawings in a very similar way to Amy’s. The figures and actions are often placed in the center of the paper with no background. He also paints bizarre fantasy scenes that reference old children’s illustrations. Their color palettes are also comparable. But unlike Dzama, Amy’s paintings seem to have some sort of feminist undertones. Many of the paintings have women performing chores together- even though they are not being done in the normal fashion. In Sweepers, the women have arms made of brooms and are using them to sweep a pile. In Waist Board the women have ironing boards attached to their waists. One woman is ironing a child’s tongue. I’m not sure exactly what to make of the scenes but I love their dream-like quality. And this book is full of them. Read more about Amy Cutler here and see more of her work here.

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