• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 26 April 2021

Christie's Will Offer Dana Schutz's 'The Fishermen (2021)' to Benefit Large-Scale Land Conservation

The Fishermen
oil on canvas
90 x 96 in.
Painted in 2021.
Estimate: $400,000-600,000

NEW YORK – On May 11, Christie’s New York 21st Century Evening Sale will offer Dana Schutz, The Fishermen to benefit Art into Acres. Donated by the artist, the proceeds of the work will support the permanent conservation of 2.5 million acres of land. These Indigenous-led conservation projects sustain wildlife habitat and migration on landscapes with high levels of biodiversity. As a strategic climate donation, this painting will leverage a cumulative 300% in matching funds from partner organizations including Andes Amazon Fund, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Wyss Foundation. The funds support formal protection status at a national level. Conserving intact ecosystems is one of the leading ways to maintain the planet’s ability to capture atmospheric carbon dioxide and to mitigate climate change. Land conservation is a natural climate solution, underlying efforts to protect at least 30% of the world by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions, conserve biodiversity and sustain nature. Christie’s has an on-going partnership with Art to Acres, an artist-founded initiative that supports the due diligence and funding of new national reserves wherein artworks a few feet in size support the permanent conservation of thousands of acres.

At the core of Schutz’s paintings is an abiding interest in expressing emotion. The brushwork makes the artist’s hand readily apparent, and these thick strokes form characters that are imbued with a psychological weight that swells within the canvas. In works like The Fishermen, the angst and pressure of an individual living during a global pandemic bursts forth with a riotous vigor. At the same time, though the colors are vibrant and verge on gruesome, there is an odd calm about the composition. Schutz paints a pregnant pause filled with all of tomorrow’s possibilities. Speaking about the present work, Schutz explained, “A boat can be like a contained world within the painting. In The Fishermen, the boat is confined, almost like a fruit bowl and the characters within seem to be similar to the creatures they are catching. They are rudderless, as an oar-like sunbeam seems to be pushing them downriver” (D. Schutz, in conversation with Christie’s, April 2021).

Dana Schutz, Artist, commented: “Art for Acres is an incredible organization. The work they do is astounding and urgent. It is such an honor to be donating The Fishermen to large-scale land preservation.”

Vivian Brodie, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s, noted: “This partnership represents a powerful initiative to transform works of art into physical acreage. The relationship between art and conservation does not get much more direct and tangible than this.”

Haley Mellin, Founder, Art to Acres, explained: “Both art and conservation are based in legacy. This painting will support the conservation of over 2,500,000 acres of intact, native land. One of the most consequential actions of this century is the protection of wildlands.”

Paul Hawken, Author, Regeneration, shared: “In the past few years, climate scientists and corporations speak increasingly about nature as an overlooked means to address climate change and “save the earth.” The world is coming to the conclusion that in order to save nature, we need to, well, save nature.”

Christie’s would like to thank to Dana Schutz, Ryan Johnson, Branwen Jones, Katherine Page, David Zwirner, Alec Smyth, Fan Zhong, Thomas Dane, Heath Lowndes, Sandy Heller, Vivian Brodie, Rachel Ng, AJ Kiyoizumi, Taylor Nemetz, Stephen Jones, Stella Kim, Brian Sheth, Joe Watson, Ryan Bidwell, Megan MacDowell, Enrique Ortiz, Adrian Forsyth, Wes Sechrest, Don Church, Alex Quintero, Jonathan Baillie, Laura Stewart, Sophia Cohen, Jason Schmidt, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C and the Museum of Modern Art for their efforts in this endeavor.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business with a physical presence in 46 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. Renowned and trusted for our expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke Private Sales, Christie’s unparalleled network of specialists offers our clients a full portfolio of global services, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $500 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction, launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art and manages an investment fund to support innovative startups in the art market. Christie’s is also committed to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide. To learn more, browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at or by downloading Christie’s apps. 

* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.   *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.