Painting in the Age of Digital Reproduction

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Klaus Kertess weighs in on the much discussed exhibition Wade Guyton: OS at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, on view through January 13, 2013.

Kertess notes that "it was with a combination of trepidation and anticipation that I took my first journey to Wade Guyton’s survey exhibition at the Whitney Museum. When I agreed to write about the show, I was guided by a kind of didacticism that told me I could use a new experience and shouldn’t simply accept the opinions of a few negatively inclined friends. I had to resist donning the armor of painterliness, as had long been my wont. And to my surprise, Guyton’s exhibition, curated by the Whitney’s Scott Rothkopf, by far outshines the monographic exhibitions I had seen in the previous months. Not organized chronologically, the installation incorporates freestanding walls throughout the gallery space that function like giant pages of an illustrated book. It bends the museum’s third-floor space in a totally idiosyncratic way and feels personal and coldly calculated almost at the same time. The work energizes the galleries, encourages contemplation, and challenges conventional thinking about what constitutes drawing and what painting."

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