Wade Guyton, Untitled, 2017, Epson UltraChrome K3 inkjet print on linen, 5 panels, each 325 x 275 cm, Photo: Thilo Schmülgen

Schultze Projects

The Mu­se­um Lud­wig is launch­ing a new pro­ject se­ries en­ti­tled Schultze Pro­jects with a five-part work by Wade Guy­ton cre­at­ed es­pe­cial­ly for this oc­ca­sion. The name of the se­ries re­fers to Ber­nard Schultze and his wife, Ur­su­la (Schultze-Bluhm), whose es­tate is ma­n­aged by the Mu­se­um Lud­wig, and in whose me­m­o­ry an artist will be in­vit­ed bien­nial­ly to cre­ate a work for the promi­nent front wall of the mu­se­um’s main stair­well.

Schultze Pro­jects I — Wade Guy­ton, Un­ti­tled, 2017

Wade Guy­ton New York re­mains a back­drop for the most varied of pro­jec­tions. The ci­ty is si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly a promise and a Moloch. Or, in Frank Si­na­tra’s words: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it any­where.” So, what does it mean when Wade Guy­ton de­picts One World Trade Cen­ter as a rec­og­niz­able icon of the fi­nan­cial and cul­tu­r­al cap­i­tal in his new work at the Mu­se­um Lud­wig? The tow­er is com­bined with the apart­ment high-rise 56 Leo­nard Street by Her­zog & de Meu­ron, another build­ing with the po­ten­tial to be­come an ar­chi­tec­tu­ral land­mark of the ci­ty. A third unu­su­al struc­ture fea­tured in the work is the Long Lines Build­ing, a colos­sal win­dow­less skyscrap­er com­plet­ed in 1974, which whistle­blow­er Ed­ward Snow­den re­vealed to be an NSA surveil­lance site co­de­named “Ti­tan­pointe.” Th­ese im­ages are now on view at the Mu­se­um Lud­wig, which main­tains an ex­cep­tio­n­al­ly close re­la­tion­ship with Amer­i­can art, not least due to its out­s­tand­ing Amer­i­can Pop Art col­lec­tion. At the same time, the works quite sim­p­ly show the view from the win­dow of Guy­ton’s stu­dio. The artist thus re­turns to a sub­ject that has fas­ci­nat­ed art ex­perts and non-ex­perts alike since the be­gin­n­ing of art his­to­ry; Guy­ton ex­plic­it­ly dealt with the theme in depth for the first time ear­li­er this year in his ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­se­um Brand­horst in Mu­nich en­ti­tled Wade Guy­ton: Das New York­er Ate­li­er (Wade Guy­ton: The New York Stu­dio). Guy­ton com­bined th­ese rec­og­niz­able sub­jects with seem­ing­ly ab­s­tract can­vas­es. To this end, he zoomed in­to ar­bi­trary dig­i­tal im­ages so that the orig­i­nal is no longer rec­og­niz­able. The light-col­ored sur­faces of th­ese can­vas­es are par­tial­ly print­ed with red bor­ders along the edges, which al­so seem like frames due to the oc­ca­sio­n­al sugges­tion of a sha­d­ow. It is re­mark­able that both modes of rep­re­sen­ta­tion—the ab­s­tract and fig­u­ra­tive—are based on the same artis­tic pro­cess­es that have char­ac­ter­ized Guy­ton’s work since the be­gin­n­ing of his artis­tic ca­reer, near­ly twen­ty years ago. Even in his now le­g­endary pic­tures with the let­ters U and X, as well as his pic­tures of fire, Guy­ton used found sub­jects, which he trans­ferred to a primed can­vas us­ing a com­put­er and an ink­jet prin­t­er. Since then, on­ly the sub­jects have changed: re­cent­ly they in­creas­ing­ly show his own smart­phone snap­shots, screen­shots, and zoomed-in views. In this con­text, the enor­mous de­pic­tion of an iPhone cam­era on the left­most can­vas has the ap­pear­ance of a con­tem­po­rary icon of con­sump­tion, surveil­lance, and the cir­cu­la­tion of im­ages. Thus, this new work by Wade Guy­ton once again delves in­to ques­tions about the dig­i­tal pro­duc­tion of im­ages, tech­niques of ap­pro­pri­a­tion, and an ex­am­i­na­tion of the tra­di­tio­n­al pan­el paint­ing. Th­ese new works pro­found­ly em­pha­size ques­tions about the dig­i­tal pro­duc­tion of im­ages, tech­niques of ap­pro­pri­a­tion, and an ex­am­i­na­tion of the tra­di­tio­n­al pan­el paint­ing.

Wade Guy­ton

Guy­ton was born in Ham­mond, In­dia­na, in 1972 and lives in New York. He has had ma­jor so­lo ex­hi­bi­tions at the Kun­stverein Ham­burg (2006), the Por­tikus in Frank­furt am Main (2008), the Mu­se­um Dhondt-Dhae­nens in Deur­le (2009), the Whit­ney Mu­se­um in New York (2012–13), the Kun­sthalle Zürich (2013), Le Con­sor­ti­um in Di­jon (2016), the Mu­se­um Brand­horst in Mu­nich (2017), and the Museo Ma­dre in Na­ples (2017). He has al­so par­ti­ci­pat­ed in im­por­tant group ex­hi­bi­tions such as the Venice Bien­nale (2013), the Carnegie In­ter­na­tio­n­al (2014), and the Whit­ney Bien­nial (2004). His works are part of the fol­low­ing mu­se­um col­lec­tions, among others: the Art In­sti­tute of Chica­go; the Kun­st­mu­se­um Basel; the Mod­er­na Museet, Stock­holm; the Mu­se­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Los An­ge­les; the Mu­se­um Lud­wig, Cologne; the Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art, New York; the Cen­ter Ge­orges Pompi­dou, Paris; the San Fran­cis­co Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art; Tate Mod­ern, Lon­don; the Whit­ney Mu­se­um of Amer­i­can Art, New York; and the Kun­sthaus Zürich.

About Schultze Pro­jects

From 1968 on, Ber­nard Schultze and his wife, Ur­su­la (Schultze-Bluhm), lived and worked as artists in Cologne. For de­cades they were a fix­ture of the ci­ty’s cul­tu­r­al life and were par­tic­u­lar­ly close­ly linked to with the Mu­se­um Lud­wig. Hence our mu­se­um holds a large part of their artis­tic es­tate. With his works from the ear­ly 1950s, Ber­nard Schultze was one of the pi­oneers of Art In­formel in Ger­many. In 1994, vis­i­tors to the ex­hi­bi­tion Ber­nard Schultze: Das große For­mat (Ber­nard Schultze: The Large-Scale Works) wit­nessed the im­pres­sive pow­er and fresh­ness of the artist’s late work in an ex­hi­bi­tion or­ganized by the Mu­se­um Lud­wig at the Josef-Haubrich-Kun­sthalle. We are de­light­ed that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween th­ese two artists and the Mu­se­um Lud­wig is now al­so re­flect­ed in the name of our new pro­ject se­ries, Schultze Pro­jects. The large-scale for­mat—a cen­tral as­pect of Ber­nard Schultze’s ma­ture work—rep­re­sents a key ref­er­ence point for the artis­tic po­si­tions planned for this se­ries.