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Details
Wade Guyton (b. 1972)
Untitled
signed and dated 'Wade Guyton 2009' (on the overlap)
Epson Ultrachrome inkjet on linen
84 1/8 x 69in. (213.6 x 175.3cm.)
Executed in 2009
Provenance
Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Exhibited
Deurle, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Wade Guyton, 2009.
Bremen, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, The Beauty of Disappointment, 2010.
Nuremberg, Neues Museum. Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nürnberg, When Now is Minimal. Die unbekannte Seite der Sammlung Goetz, 2013-2014 (illustrated in colour, pp. 102 & 218). This exhibition later travelled to Bozen, Museum für moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst.
Deurle, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Wade Guyton, 2009.
Bremen, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, The Beauty of Disappointment, 2010.
Nuremberg, Neues Museum. Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nürnberg, When Now is Minimal. Die unbekannte Seite der Sammlung Goetz, 2013-2014 (illustrated in colour, pp. 102 & 218). This exhibition later travelled to Bozen, Museum für Moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst.

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Rachel Boddington
Rachel Boddington

Lot Essay

'I've become interested in when something starts as an accident and then becomes a template for other things, or reproduces itself and generates its own logic until something else intervenes to change it' 

(W. Guyton, quoted in S. Rothkopf, Modern Picture: Colour, Power & Style, exh. cat., Der Kunstverein, Hamburg, 2006).

Comprising delicate striations of diaphanous grey pigment, Wade Guyton's Untitled (2009) challenges the pre-conceived notions of abstraction by recreating the formal structure and appearance of Modernist painting through contemporary technology. Perpetually blurring the line between the artist's intent and technological will, Guyton's monochromatic paintings document the process of their own creation, stressing the innate fallibility of machinery. The present work was created by physically pulling the vast swathe of linen fabric through an ink-jet printer. Working on a larger scale than his technology would allow, Guyton folded the linen, executing the computer file on one side and then the other. The resulting image has a bisecting line that simultaneously unites the mimetic bands on either side and fractures the work. The gradual unloading of ink by the printer's carriage creates a variegated effect, appearing to capture a moment of stasis. In its documentation of the skips, skids, stutters and smears that inadvertently occur during the printing process, Guyton's inkjet medium paradoxically betrays a sense of individuality in the face of mechanisation. The slate-grey horizontal bands create a hypnotic effect, encouraging the eye to skip down the entire vertiginous length of the composition.
 
With its impenetrable central vertical seam and its fine horizontal lines multiplied down the length of the linen, Untitled invites comparison with the history of twentieth century Abstraction - from Kazimir Malevich's black on black, to Barnett Newman’s ‘zips’, to the restrained linear coordinates of Agnes Martin's spiritual Minimalism. Guyton has simultaneously considered the monochrome paintings of the 1960s by artists such as Brice Marden and Robert Mangold, while also allowing his works to take on the more unexpected markings of fugitive lines or unintentional ink drips from his machine, thus registering the work's very facture. As Guyton recently said of these works, 'the works on linen are a record of their own making which at times can include accidents in the printing or in the physical act of making them, like when I drag a canvas across a studio floor' (W. Guyton, quoted in C. Vogel, 'Painting, Rebooted', in The New York Times, 27 September 2012).

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