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Artwalk Benefit Auction, New York, 2005
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)
Christie's, New York, March 6, 2014, lot 31
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
New York, Nahmad Contemporary, Les Fleurs du Mal, March 3 - April 9, 2016, p. 49 (illustrated)
Wade Guyton’s visual lexicon of computer generated motifs, including fiery flames and typed Us, have become artistic icons within contemporary art, as recognizable now as Barnett Newman’s zip. In Untitled from 2005, two overlapping Us dominate the composition and are threated from below by scanned fiery flames, the Us, one maroon and one light blue appear to be melting from the imposing heat. Guyton describes this U motif in much the same manner that Ed Ruscha pronounces his text based practice, as seeming “sufficiently abstract… It felt like it could slip out of being a letter.” (Wade Guyton quoted in Donna De Salvo, Wade Guyton OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 204). Guyton’s flame imagery was gleaned from Stephen King’s science fiction novel Firestarter; he collected numerous editions of the book, one of which depicted flames on the cover, which he scanned and printed on a linen surface. By pulling the linen through his Epson printer, Guyton sought to capture every error, jam and smudge, contributing to the already unstable surface illustrated by the image of raging flames. As curator Scott Rothkopf explains, “We’re not really sure what the Us are doing in the fire, apart from serving as the hapless subjects on which Guyton can exact his painterly experiments.” (Scott Rothkopt, "Modern Pictures" in Color, Power & Style, exh. cat., Kunstverein Hamburg, 2006, p. 77)
New York Auction 18 May 2017