Magazine article Artforum International

Tim Griffin on Wade Guyton. (First Take)

Magazine article Artforum International

Tim Griffin on Wade Guyton. (First Take)

Article excerpt

WADE GUYTON HAS REFERRED TO HIS SCULPTURES AS drawings in space. No doubt this assertion has something to do with his three-dimensional works' frequent status as studies. (Indeed, in the past couple of years Guyton has made a number of pieces individually titled Fragment of Sculpture the Size of a House, each corresponding to a structural component of the suburban home the artist intends to construct and paint completely black, sometime in the future.) Yet his statement has as much to do with the physical character of the objects, which can seem crudely superimposed on space, at once underscoring the sculptural aspect of seeing and demonstrating Guyton's interest in the dynamics of sculpture transposed across media. In his "Fragments," 2000-, for example, the artist inserts into the gallery environment a large aluminum-and-plywood plane whose irregular geometry and matte black surface interrupt the sight lines and flow of light through the room. The object's severe angles are totally incongruous with the surr oundings, composing a form that apparently slices through space or, more accurately, blots it out like ink on paper. It's a brilliant kind of dead-zone sculpture: If Gordon Matta-Clark generated disruptions of space by eliminating portions of the built environment--incising the walls or floors, even chainsawing an entire house in half--Guyton does the same using an additive process.

Inspired in part by the odd flattening of his sculptures when they are reproduced in pictures, the artist has lately made a number of "printer drawings," which will appear in March at Artists Space in New York. These consist of simple patterns printed on photographs taken from art and interior design books of the '70s and '80s. A massive X hovers above viewers contemplating a Minimalist sculpture in a gallery at the Walker Art Center in one drawing. In another, a sequence of Xs runs across the image of a public sculpture by Charles Ginnever. (Guyton marks the spot of his art-historical origins and defaces it at the same time.) Elsewhere, one sees how the page might be considered simply one more viewing plane in space: Some drawings depict Xs to be placed in windows, blocking the perspectival view, crossing out the landscape as if it were merely a picture. …

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