Shana Lutker - profile, Le NEW Monocle: The History of the Fistfights of the Surrealists

Shana Lutker

United States 1978

Installation, Sculpture, Performance Art, Conceptual Art

Shana Lutker
Shana Lutker
United States
July 7, 2015

Shana Lutker is an American multi-disciplinary artist, best known for her ongoing research concerning the Surrealist movement. In addition, she is Managing Editor of X-TRA, an LA-based contemporary art magazine.

Born in Northport, New York in 1978, Shana received her BA in Visual Art and Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and MFA from UCLA School of Art in the area of Interdisciplinary Studio.

Historical Research from a Contemporary Mind

Shana Lutker’s artistic practice combines a wide range of media, from drawing and sculpture to writing, installation and performance. But above all, her work is conceptual – with each piece, she tries to re-contextualize common subjects, objects and experiences. Inspired by the notions of memory, dreams, unconscious mind and psychoanalysis, Shana fusions her conceptual interests with her understanding of history. She draws on historical documents and objects, creating a process which melds her objective research with her personal thoughts about the stories she tells.

“Dreams and newspapers are almost always at the foundation of my work, because for me, the dreams stand for freedom from interpretation, and the newspapers stand for linear time and history – the subjective and the objective, the private and the public, the unfixed and the fixed” – Shana Lutker

Shana Lutker’s most significant artworks are created as a part of her ongoing research about a history of the Surrealists’ infamous fisticuffs that took place in 1920s Paris.

Shana Lutker - New Research Concerning the Fistfights of the Surrealists (exhibition details), 2012, installation, contemporary conceptual art
Shana Lutker – New Research Concerning the Fistfights of the Surrealists (exhibition details), 2012

Fistfights of the Surrealists

Since 2012, Shana Lutker is focused on compiling a detailed history of the fistfights of the surrealists. The Surrealist movement was among the most important European avant-garde movements of the 20th century. Members of the group explored the unconscious mind and they were interested in the possible creative expressions that were tied to the irrational. But as Lutker’s research revealed, surrealists were not just focused on the sole artistic expression – they were also prone to physical, public fights incited by intellectual arguments.

Fistfights of the Surrealists, Shana Lutker - Protestation! exhibition view at the Whitney Museum, 2014
Shana Lutker – Protestation! exhibition view at the Whitney Museum, 2014

Interested in these strange episodes of art history, Shana Lutker spent her whole summer in Paris, exploring the known sites of the fights, and collecting news reports and first-hand documents of the arguments. Her resulting research is composed of video and photographic documentation of the sites, notes and citations from the diaries, newspapers, and historical documents she has accessed.

Shana Lutker lives and works in Los Angeles, California

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Paul, Paul, Paul, and PaulSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CASolo
2015Directions: Shana LutkerHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.Solo
2015Shana Lutker: Project GalleryPerez Art Museum Miami, FLSolo
2015Shana Lutker: The Raven, The Dove, Paul, and the PeacocksBarbara Seiler, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2015PASSING LEAPHauser & Wirth, New York, NYGroup
2014RealismLAXART, Hollywood, CASolo
2014Pier 54High Line Art, New York, NYGroup
2014Whitney BiennialWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2014The OutlandersThe Pit, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Unsparing QualityDiane Rosenstein Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Shana LutkerSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CASolo
2013The Blowing NoseBarbara Seiler Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2013The Nose, The Cane, The Broken Left ArmPerforma 13, New York, NYGroup
2013The Manifest Destiny Billboard ProjectLos Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), USAGroup
2013The Unicorn, Transformer StationThe Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OHGroup
2013subject, answer, countersubjectDisjecta, Portland, ORGroup
2013The Stand In (or a glass of milk)Public Fiction, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013A Round World Distorts a Flat Map5323 Abbott Place, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Double LifeSculptureCenter, Long Island City, NYGroup
2012New Research Concerning Fistfights of the SurrealistsThe Center For Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus, OHSolo
2012Reflections on FormBarbara Seiler Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2012Things, Words and ConsequencesMoscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2012Perros Negros presents Perros NegrosNew Jerseyy, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
2012A Brand New Baby Carriage Standing There on the PorchBarbara Seiler Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2012Barter ShowLAND, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2012Economy of means: toward humility in contemporary sculptureScottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZGroup
2012Ball of ArtistsGreystone Mansion, part of Pacific Standard Time Festival, Beverly Hills, CAGroup
2011A. G. L. & X.Barbara Seiler Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2011Make Knot Meddle, New PositionsWetterling Gallery, Art Cologne, GermanySolo
2011The Trap DoorHuman Resources, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Two Schools of CoolFOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Greater LAEleanor Cayre and Joel Mesler, New York, NYGroup
2011SueltoLa Central, Bogota, ColombiaGroup
2010H.Y.S.T. et alSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CASolo
2010Here It HereSOMA, Mexico City, MexicoSolo
2010Reading Seating, Works SitedLos Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CASolo
2010Lovingly, Rose PeeblesBrand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, CAGroup
2010Session_12_WordsAm Nuden Da at Four Boxes Gallery, Skive, DenmarkGroup
2010Ruins (Los Angeles)LA>Group
2010A Torrent of WordsJohn Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WIGroup
2010Territories, Left of CenterThe Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Point to one end, which is always presentSmall A Projects, New York, NYGroup
2009Forever Will a Blockhead BeWetterling Gallery, Stockholm, SwedenSolo
2009Performa 09X Initiative, New York, NYGroup
2009WordsAm Nuden Da, London, EnglandGroup
2009An Object tossed from One Country to AnotherBlock Party, Highland Park, CAGroup
2009In Bed TogetherRoyal T, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009VeronicaPitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CAGroup
2009In Love With NightGuggenheim Gallery, Chapman UniversityGroup
2009On the Pleasure of HatingLisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009Bitch is The New BlackHonor Fraser, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Broken EnglishSeiler + Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Extra, ExtraChina Art Objects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009This Is Killing MeMassachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MAGroup
2009The May ShowOlympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Put OnCircus Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Books, 2005-2008The Suburban, Oak Park, ILSolo
2008The CommiffionersSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CASolo
2008Combined Faulty ActsArtists Space, New York, NYSolo
2008California Biennial 2008Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CAGroup
2008Shana Lutker, Anna Sew Hoy, Brenna YoungbloodUniversity Art Museum, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CAGroup
2008Delusionarium 4David Salow Gallery and Bonelli Contemporary, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008This Shadow is a Bit of IdeologyGallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
2008The 30TH Anniversary: PART IIWetterling Gallery, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2008The Whole World is WatchingThe Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, CAGroup
2008November AgainHarris Lieberman, New York, NYGroup
2008The Silence of Infinite SpaceGlendale College Gallery, Glendale, CAGroup
20083 Rooms: Shana Lutker, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, David Kennedy CutlerDAmelio Terras, New York, NYGroup
2007Shana LutkerCCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CASolo
2007The Future of an IllusionRoom Gallery, UC Irvine, CaliforniaSolo
2007Art Perform, Art Basel Miami BeachMiami Beach, FLGroup
2007You Are HereGlassell School of Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TXGroup
2007PassengersCCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007AbstractionMichael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007For SaleCristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, PortugalGroup
2007The Pyramid ShowMonte Vista, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Reality DisorderSusanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CAGroup
200788:88The Project, New York, NYGroup
2007Big Secret CacheAngstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006ExcerptsWetterling Gallery, Stockholm, SwedenSolo
20062006 California BiennialOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CAGroup
2006NovemberHarris Lieberman, New York, NYGroup
2006People for a Better TomorrowSweeney Art Gallery, UC Riverside, CAGroup
2006Re-make - Re-ModelDAmelio Terras, New York, NYGroup
2006And Therefore I AmTang Museum, Skidmore, Saratoga, NYGroup
2005HappenstanceHarris Lieberman Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Champion Fine Art 2003-2005Art 2102, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Public Sculpture for Benevento Citta SpettacoloTheater Festival, ItalyGroup
2005Erzhl mal wasKunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen, GermanyGroup
2005Supersonic 2LA Design Center, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005The Paths of Moons and PlanetsCrazy Space, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2004FaithChampion Fine Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Delusionarium ILegacy Art Gallery, Santa Ana, CAGroup
2004Art and PropagandaUniversity of Arizona, Tucson AZGroup
2003RecordArt 2102, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003The StageStray Show, Chicago, ILGroup
2003Instant InstallationsSundown Salon, Los Angeles, CAGroup