Tom McGlynn reviews the exhibition Wade Guyton OS at the Whitney Museum, New York, on view through January 13, 2012.
McGlynn writes: "The work displayed on the museum’s third floor includes painting, sculpture and collage and if one ran through and peripherally scanned the ensemble it might well serve as a survey of “triumphant” American art ranging chronologically from abstract expressionism to post-painterly abstraction to minimalism. Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross cycle immediately comes to mind in one of Guyton’s large series of black, inkjet-printed, stretched-linen panels. The rhetoric of the screen grab, scanner and ink jet printer displaces the humane existential stance of Newman’s work." McGlynn continues: "Guyton’s work contains many of the formal elements that I enjoy in a peculiarly American visual rhetoric from Stuart Davis to Christopher Wool. These include slab-like lateral color, generic quotidian fragments, ridiculous scale, open-ended rhythmic composition, parallax optics, sloppy paint application, etc. The problem I had with achieving a fresh view of Guyton’s work was that the clear influences of Davis, Noland, Kelly, Martin, Stella, Warhol, were never fully synthesized into a newer aesthetic that might define the artist as a 'strong poet' in the present."