November 5, 2012

Superstorm Sandy, Wade Guyton at the Whitney


What a week. Two Coats lost power for five days after Superstorm Sandy's spectacular and devastating landfall last week. The water rose to the backdoor of our temporary waterfront HQ in Stonington, Connecticut, and then, miraculously, began to recede. I got back to New York late Saturday and my apartment and studio are intact, although so many neighborhoods are not. For a full list of posts, articles and videos chronicling the storm's effects on the art world, check out Joanne Mattera Art Blog. Mattera has compiled a slew of links and published a firsthand report by the intrepid James Kalm, who lives one the outskirt of Red Hook, one of NYC's hardest hit areas.

Of course (to get back to art), if all artists made serial digital prints and were as prolific as Wade Guyton, their storm losses might be less catastrophic. I looked forward to seeing Guyton's mid-career survey at the Whitney, but ultimately I was disappointed by a large body of work that seems too conceptually thin to warrant a survey at a major museum. Guyton's big, serially produced digital prints of X's and stripes are certainly handsome, but groundbreaking they're not. From a commercial point of view, the size, sameness and digital production strategy must be perfect for stocking Petzel's booth at all the art fairs, right?

Then, last week at Hyperallergic John Yau wrote an informative review outlining Guyton's "inexorable rise" in the NY art world. "That Mr. Guyton doesn’t expand the academic narrative or make it more inclusive is another story. This is something that seems to have been conveniently ignored. Amnesia has its place in the art world’s scheme of things....Everything Guyton does reminds me of something I have already seen, which makes me think of him as a grad student who hasn’t gained his own authority."

A very gifted grad student. Harsh, yes, but I'd have to agree.

Image above: Wade Guyton,  Untitled, 2008, Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen, 84 x 587 inches. Courtesy of Petzel.

"Wade Guyton: OS," curated by Guyton's partner Scott Rothkopf, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Through January 13, 2012.

Related post:
Weatherbeaten
Wade Guyton: Handsome imperfection
Paintings of a certain size (and depth)

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