Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Whitney Museum of American Art opens Wade Guyton OS exhibition

Whitney Museum of American Art presents Wade Guyton OS, the first midcareer survey of the influential New York–based artist. Open October 4 through January 13, 2013, the exhibition features highlights of Guyton’s career from 1999 to the present, showcasing the breadth of his work in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and installation. Guyton will also premiere two new paintings, one of which spans fifty feet in length and is the artist’s largest single canvas to date.

Wade Guyton (b. 1972), Untitled, 2006. Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen; 90 × 53 in. (228.6 × 134.6 cm). Collection of Nina and Frank Moore. © Wade Guyton. Photograph by Lamay Photo

Comprising more than eighty works, the show will feature a dramatic, non-chronological layout in which staggered rows of parallel walls confront the viewer like the layered pages of a book or stacked windows on a computer screen, twin references to Guyton’s sources and process. Drawing on his flair for installation, this approach will recontextualize more than a decade’s worth of his art with new pieces made specifically for the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building—a fitting venue given Guyton’s longstanding engagement with Breuer’s work. These large-scale paintings will be exhibited alongside rows of vitrines housing eighty-five of Guyton’s “printer drawings,” while a spectacular installation of more than eighteen mirrored stainless steel sculptures will span the gallery space. The exhibition’s title Wade Guyton OS employs the commonly used acronym for a computer “operating system” and links Guyton’s work to the technological tools on which he depends. The title makes the point that the artist’s body of work is more closely akin to an open-ended system than to a fixed corpus, a point underscored by the exhibition’s highly inventive design.

Wade Guyton OS builds on the Museum’s early commitment to this groundbreaking artist. Guyton was included in the 2004 Biennial, and work purchased by the Museum from that show marked his first entry into the collection of a public institution. The Whitney has since acquired a majestic eight-panel painting that will be a highlight of this show. In 2010, Guyton\Walker, a collaborative team comprising Guyton and Kelley Walker, launched Whitney on Site: New Commissions Downtown, a series of projects on the site of the future Whitney building at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets, adjacent to the High Line.

By showcasing Guyton at this pivotal moment in his development, the Whitney reaffirms its longstanding tradition of championing pioneering artists early in their careers. This survey places Guyton alongside Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Prince, all of whom were presented in Whitney surveys covering roughly the first decade of their work.

Wade Guyton was born in 1972 in Hammond, Indiana, and now lives and works in New York. Over the past decade he has emerged as one of the most innovative artists of a generation that also includes Rachel Harrison, Kelley Walker, Josh Smith, and Roe Etheridge. During that time, Guyton pioneered a body of work that builds elegantly on key developments in the history of modern and contemporary art through the use of common technologies, such as the desktop computer, scanner, and printer. With these tools, Guyton forges a seamless and eloquent synthesis of diverse mediums and movements within a technical and visual vocabulary that is insistently of our time.

For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit