Wade Guyton - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    London, westlondonprojects, Wade Guyton Paintings, October 6 - November 11, 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I’m not hoping for an accident or even courting disaster. The works on linen are a record of their own making…”

    WADE GUYTON, 2012

    Reinterpreting the tropes of minimalism and the monochrome palette, Wade Guyton’s mechanized linen canvases epitomize our technologically disrupted times. Realizing his large-scale graphic compositions through the means of a large-scale Epson inkjet printer, Guyton distances himself from the artistic process, rendering the machine the artist’s instrument. Entwining symbolism, language and technological automation, Guyton’s Untitled imagery cleverly elaborates upon the modernist canon, inspiring in the contemporary sphere an important dialogue regarding the role of the artist and the movement towards mechanization.

    Initially interested in the role of the found object and the transposition of three-dimensional life into a two-dimensional representation, Guyton’s earliest works capture his “…growing involvement with the dialogic rapport between sculpture and photography, the reciprocities and gaps between how spaces and objects are recorded in two dimensions and experienced in three.” (S. Rothkopf, Wade Guyton: OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 13) From this fundamental understanding of the mutability of the artistic process and the conversant nature of seemingly disparate artistic methodologies, Guyton developed a profound understanding of the object not as subject but as medium; the conceptual and practical elements of the artistic process could combine in a manufactured yet theoretically challenging composition. As the artist notes, “When I started to be interested in making art, all the artists I was interested in were involved with the manipulation of language or the malleability of the categories of art. There was a freedom in this way of thinking. There was a space where objects could be speculative.” (Wade Guyton quoted in S. Rothkopf, Wade Guyton: OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 11)

    In Untitled, 2006, Guyton transcribes one of his earliest motifs - initially explored in his drawings on the appropriated pages of books and magazines - in a jarringly geometric yet irregular pattern that references the fallibility of technology. Slightly blurred and visually arresting, Guyton’s Xs beg to be read. One of the most common symbols in the Roman alphabet, the X is reframed by Guyton as a conceptual provocation; challenging both the viewer and technology, Guyton captures the imperfection in the mechanization of printing, much in the manner of Pop master Andy Warhol’s imperfect silkscreen process. In fact, Guyton describes his production of these works as a simple, unsystematic experiment: “I'm also just making dumb marks that don't require the complexity of the photo printer technology - and it's interesting how the printer can't handle such simple gestures." (W. Guyton, quoted in D. Fogle, W. Guyton, J. Rasmussen, K. Walker (eds.), 'A Conversation about Yves Klein, Mid-Century Design Nostalgia Branding, and Flatbed scanning,' Guyton/Walker: The Failever of Judgement, exh. cat., Midway Museum of Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, 2004, pp. 45) It is, in fact, the very imprecision of the printer’s marks upon the canvas that best embodies Guyton’s aesthetic; the shifted, incomplete rows of Xs, the striations and variations in the printer ink’s density and clarity, comingle in a bold declaration of Guyton’s theory on the pictorial landscape. Speaking of Guyton’s inexact symbols, Scott Rothkopf elaborates, “The Xs and bars fell randomly atop the paper, since Guyton couldn’t really control the printer or even imagine exactly where his marks might wind up, especially when he choked the machine by stuffing it with multiple pages at once. This disjunction was particularly evident when he printed motifs that acted like porous barriers, whether chunky bars, rows of Xs, or a black rectangle pocked with holes suggesting a goofy face of digital Swiss cheese.” (Wade Guyton: OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 17)

    The subtle distinction between sensual surface touch of the artist’s hand and the saturated, inhuman and pre-formed motifs manufactured by technology is nowhere more apparent – and more controversial – than in Guyton’s inkjet pictures. From his early concern with form and dimensionality, the Xs and Guyton’s employment of these seemingly mundane, linear graphics as ‘painterly’ devices “…articulated a disjunction between the picture, the page, and the mark.” (Wade Guyton: OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 16) Untitled, 2006, is an impressive monument to the minimal and the conceptual – and an undeniably elegant manifestation of art historical tradition and contemporary innovation. Reinvigorating the canvas and expanding the traditional boundaries of conceptual painting, Guyton’s inkjet works express a new approach to modernity. As Rothkopf so eloquently asserts, “…he does not chart or expound upon them like a scientist, weatherman, or stringent conceptualist. He makes things that intuitively embody them, with a kind of hard-won casualness, skepticism, and, dare I say, style. His artworks serves as way stations for mages that come from other places and will likely end up someplace else – in a different form, material, or scale.” (Wade Guyton: OS, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012, p. 10)



Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen
80 x 69 in. (203.2 x 175.3 cm.)

$1,500,000 - 2,000,000 

Sold for $2,165,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 15 May 2014 7PM