WADE GUYTON
ZWEI DEKADEN MCMXCIX–MMXIX

Novem­ber 16, 2019 – March 1, 2020

Open­ing: Fri­day, Novem­ber 15, 2019, 7 p.m.

Born in 1972, the Amer­i­can artist Wade Guy­ton has cre­at­ed a con­sis­tent and dist­inct oeu­vre for more than two de­cades. He is best known for his large-scale can­vas paint­ings made with a con­ven­tio­n­al ink­jet prin­t­er, fea­tur­ing me­m­orable sub­jects such as flames, the let­ters X and U, and the New York Times web­site. Af­ter ac­quir­ing sev­er­al of the artist’s works for the col­lec­tion, the Mu­se­um Lud­wig is host­ing a ma­jor sur­vey ex­hi­bi­tion that will pre­sent his oeu­vre from the be­gin­n­ing of his ca­reer to his most re­cent works.

Wade Guy­ton plays a key role in the artis­tic en­gage­ment with im­ages in the dig­i­tal age. He com­bines tra­di­tio­n­al vi­su­al me­di­a—­such as primed can­vas—with dig­i­tal print­ing pro­cess­es so that de­lib­er­ate degra­da­tions lead to aes­thet­i­cal­ly as­ton­ish­ing re­sults. By ap­pro­pri­at­ing ex­ist­ing im­ages and con­front­ing them with new tech­nolo­gies of re­pro­duc­tion, Guy­ton has de­vel­oped an up­dat­ed form of ap­pro­pri­a­tion art over the past twen­ty years. While his first ink­jet paint­ings on can­vas were ini­tial­ly in­ter­pret­ed in for­mal-aes­thet­ic terms in re­gard to a mod­er­nist ap­proach, the de­vel­op­ment of his work shows that even the seem­ing­ly ab­s­tract pat­terns of stripes, squares, and cir­cles are root­ed in spe­cif­ic dig­i­tal im­ages.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is be­ing de­vel­oped in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the artist. It will bring to­gether all the me­dia he us­es, from works on pa­per that Wade Guy­ton calls “draw­ings” to pho­tog­ra­phy, sculp­ture, and his ground­break­ing ink­jet paint­ings, span­n­ing the en­tire space for tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions as well as the DC Hall and three ad­join­ing rooms. In­stead of pre­sent­ing the works in chrono­log­i­cal or­der, they are some­times ar­ranged in­to groups ac­cord­ing to sub­ject mat­ter or themes, which re­veals Guy­ton’s ref­er­ences to his own work as well as the de­vel­op­ment of his oeu­vre. The ear­li­est works in­clude sculp­tures made of bent tubu­lar-steel chairs as well as his “draw­ings,” print­ed ripped-out pages of art and de­sign ca­t­a­logues, an ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of which will be pre­sent­ed for the first time. The lat­est works in the ex­hi­bi­tion show the artist’s im­me­di­ate en­vi­ron­ment, such as his stu­dio and the ur­ban land­s­cape of New York. The in­te­gra­tion of tools and fur­ni­ture from the stu­dio as well as strate­gies of sam­pling found forms and im­ages are strik­ing fea­tures of Wade Guy­ton’s artis­tic ap­proach, which al­ways adapts to the re­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tion venue. A new out­door sculp­ture on the ter­race in front of the south en­trance, for ex­am­ple, is not on­ly a bronze cast of an ex­ist­ing work in the ex­hi­bi­tion, but al­so shows aes­thet­ic ref­er­ences to the saw-tooth roof of the mu­se­um. For the ex­hi­bi­tion, cer­tain adap­ta­tions to the mu­se­um’s build­ing, such as walls and win­dows that were cov­ered, will be re­moved. The bridge to the ad­min­is­tra­tive wing will al­so be re­opened, which will of­fer a wide-rang­ing view of the tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tion area at the be­gin­n­ing of the ret­ro­spec­tive.

Yil­maz Dziewior, Di­rec­tor of the Mu­se­um Lud­wig: “The aim of this ret­ro­spec­tive is to give a sense of the com­plex­i­ty of Wade Guy­ton’s oeu­vre, show­ing the artist to be far more than just an ex­cep­tio­n­al pain­ter. His prac­tice is dee­p­ly root­ed in a con­cep­tu­al ap­proach. For all the clas­si­cal­i­ty of his works, with their broad net­work of ref­er­ences to pre­cur­sors in the his­to­ry of art, Guy­ton al­ways sur­pris­es with new and un­ex­pect­ed changes of di­rec­tion.”

Wade Guy­ton was born in 1972 in Ham­mond, In­dia­na, and lives in New York. Re­cent ma­jor in­sti­tu­tio­n­al so­lo ex­hi­bi­tions have tak­en place at the Ser­pen­tine Gallery in Lon­don (2017/18), the Museo Ma­dre –museo d’arte con­tem­po­ranea Donnaregi­na in Na­ples (2017), the Mu­se­um Brand­horst in Mu­nich (2017), the Musée d’art mod­erne et con­tem­po­rain (MAM­CO) in Gene­va (2016), Le Con­sor­ti­um in Di­jon (2016), the Kun­sthalle Zürich (2013), and the Whit­ney Mu­se­um of Amer­i­can Art in New York (2012), among others.

Cu­ra­tor: Yil­maz Dziewior
Cu­ra­to­rial Pro­ject Ma­n­age­ment: Leonie Ra­dine

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