Dana Schutz was born in Livonia, Michigan, in 1976. She received her BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA at Columbia University, New York, in 2002.

She first came to attention with her inaugural exhibition Frank from Observation, 2002, based on the conceit of Schutz as the last painter on earth, representing the last subject, “Frank”. Since then, her fictive subjects have ranged from people who can eat themselves, a gravity fanatic, imaginary births and deaths, and public/private performers. Her travelling retrospective If the Face Had Wheels opened at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, in the fall of 2011. This was followed in 2013 by a European exhibition of new works that traveled from the Hepworth Wakefield museum in the United Kingdom to the Kestnergesellschaft in Germany.

Schutz has had solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2006); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy (2010); and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta (2011). She has participated in many acclaimed group exhibitions, including Clandestine, Venice Biennale, Venice (2003); Greater New York, P.S.1, New York (2005); Take Two. Worlds and Views: Contemporary Art from the Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art in America: Three Hundred Years of Innovation, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2008); Riotous Baroque: From Cattelan to Zurbarán — Tributes to Precarious Vitality, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2012); and America is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015).

Dana Schutz’s paintings and works on paper can be seen in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montréal; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.

Dana Schutz is represented by Petzel Gallery in New York and Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin.