Wade Guyton at the Whitney shares the beauty of error
In the Whitney's new mid-life retrospective, Wade Guyton: OS, viewers are welcomed to make peace with paper jams, discolorations, empty ink cartridges, and the other various misdemeanors technology never fails to deliver.
In fact, these technological inaccuracies are exactly Guyton's choice of media, his "paintings" and drawings are intentional scanner/printer/computer mishaps that collectively instigate a strong sense of modernism. Bands of color, faded images, and repeated U's and X's run through the cohesive exhibit comprised of over 80 pieces generated in the past ten years, including two immense paintings, 30 ft and 50 ft in length, generated specifically for the exhibit.
Although Guyton's nod to the past is evident, the show emphasizes our contemporary condition in which the over-abundance of images is inescapable, in which we are never deprived of screens and computer generated representations. Curator Scott Rothkopf, in collaboration with Guyton, displayed the work rather casually on a series of walls resembling the unruly number of windows open on our desktops at any given moment, further illustrating the work's ensuing messages.
The show also comments on the perceived perfection technology brings to our lives by bombarding us with its mistakes, but the resulting allure gears us away from discouragement and toward embracing new perceptions of our reliance on mechanical accuracy and availability.
Guyton's work reveals a human-like irregularity in a technological universe, but viewers may take what they wish from this conceptually and physically intriguing show that should not go unseen. The exhibit runs until January 13th.