A candid example from the artist's ongoing series of "printer drawings," Untitled poses a poignant double query of form and function. By folding the primed linen in half and repetitively feeding it through a large-format inkjet printer, Guyton performs an obsessive ritual that can only be realized by modern means of photographic reproduction. And all the while, the artist is also paying a personal tribute to form by referencing modernism and conceptualism.
Similar to the pattern from the inside cover of printed paperback books, the alternating green and red stripes constantly evoke our visual memory of the recurring motif from Guyton's predecessors, Daniel Buren and Frank Stella. And the slightly tilted black circle, which floats in the blank expanse, leads us to retreat to the works of Adolph Gottlieb and Alexander Liberman. Diverging from his fellow artists, Guyton turns to process as a way to gain painterly qualities in his work as exemplified by Untitled. To produce Untitled, Guyton engages in the mundane process of printing and reprinting, which interrupts the orderly space of the work with uneven ink discharge, color deficiency, blurs, overlaps and smudges. Through Guyton's enlarging and multiplying, the anticipated results of mechanical failures transform into painterly qualities that are extremely enchanting and melancholic.
"This awkwardness, though, turned out to be the painters' interest, a strangely convincing index of Guyton's process, which, whether by accident or cosmic design, had landed him squarely between the Bauhaus abstractions and unprimed Color Field canvases that constitute two of his recurring art-historical predilections" (S. Rothkopf, "Color, Power & Style," Modern Pictures, 2006).
Guyton first started to explore his interests in found imagery, mechanical reproduction and digital manipulation when he was still a graduate student at Hunter College in New York in the late 1990s. Before "printer drawings," Guyton mostly created minimalist sculptures and small drawings. He also produced U's, circles and triangles, all standard shapes, simply from the word-processing software as art. Since expanding his medium to canvas in the early 2000s, Guyton has offered infinite possibilities of drastically renewing our concept towards printing and painting, abstraction and pre-existing imagery.