A series of prints made from a single digital file by Wade Guyton (b. in 1972 in Hammond, Indiana), one of the most famous modern American artists, was recently on display at Geneva’s Mamco (curator Nicolas Trembley). Currently, some of these prints are shown in Munich at Brandhorst Museum (exhibition is curated by Achim Hochdorfer).
The artist takes a photo in his New York studio. This image, showing a fragment of his black abstraction from 2007, as well as his sculpture from “chair sculptures” series, is printed in 30 versions on a jet printer, in L and XL sizes. Surrounded by this images at the exhibition, the viewer “decodes” the message and gets into the sprit of the artist’s impersonal, efficient work space.
30 versions of huge non-figurative prints with “non-art look” is a conversation about modernity: about urbanism, architectural leadership, advertising, commodity status, impersonality.
Wade Guyton’s non-art look style gets a special meaning in the exhibition halls of Geneva museum of Modern Art. Mamco’s collection includes works of conceptualists of 60s and 70s, such as photographs by Becher, V.Burgin and others, with a similar “visual emptiness” and monotonous repetition of one architectural motive.
This art has lost connection to classical painting technique, it reminds of a process of networked corporate labor. Wade Guyton uses a digital camera, computer rendering and a multi-layer printing technology with a special process of feeding of canvas into the machine, resulting in prints having two vertical parts. All prints including those with spoilage, are on display on exhibition and have equal artistic status. This art is stylistically close to “process art”, where emphases is transferred from an art object onto the process of its creation.
Artist’s monologue has passed through post-modernist transformations, leading to an elegant, fragmented postmodernist style. There is no longer an author, but a scriptor, “scriptor does not bring about passions, moods, feelings or impressions but an infinite vocabulary from which he takes his never-ending writing’ (R.Bart).Wade Guyton’s vocabulary includes computer rendering, ad language, ‘spectalization of emptiness’, repetition, standardization, printing runs, puzzle and and the urbanistic dull.
Written by: Irina Vernichenko