fb pixcode

Walther König, Köln

Hardcover, 12 x 13 in. / 356 pgs / 249 color.

Pub Date

D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 141   

ISBN 9783960980759 FLAT40
List Price: $75.00 CDN $99.00

Out of stock



Munich, Germany
Museum Brandhorst, 01/28/17–04/30/17


Artbook | D.A.P. Catalog Cover Link
Preview our Spring 2024 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.


Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier

Edited with text by Achim Hochdörfer. Interview by Johanna Burton, Achim Hochdörfer. Text by Berhard Maaz.

Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier

Over the past two years, Wade Guyton (born 1972) has created a compelling new series of artworks, documented in all their breadth and complexity in Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier.

Instead of the minimal, repeated letters that characterize his best-known work, Guyton’s new paintings feature a diverse range of imagery, all digitally captured. Some of these works show recognizable forms—the newspaper homepage, the view from Guyton’s Bowery studio—and some dissolve into abstraction as their source material is subject to extreme enlargement. Taking snapshots and screen-captures and printing them on his huge printer, Guyton has created works that reflect, in their content and their making, the rapid expansion of the digital code into all areas of life. Published to accompany the first exhibition of these new works at the Museum Brandhorst, this volume also features texts by Johanna Burton and Achim Hochdörfer.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier.'

Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.

Excerpt from the Interview with Wade Guyton, Johanna Burton, Achim Hochdörfer.

AH: We are sitting here in the studio, stacks of paintings in front of us. They are all new or from the last ten, twelve months.

WG: By the time the show happens, in January 2017, there will be two years’ worth of paintings.

AH: They were all made with the same technique, white primed linen put in a printer ... Is it a new printer?

WG: It’s the same linen and the same printer I’ve been using for the last few years, an Epson 9900, and the same process.

AH: When I came here to see the new paintings for the first time, I was very surprised. Even if they share the same technique and size as previous series—84 × 69 inches and 128 × 108 inches—they are opening up a whole new territory. In your previous paintings you focused mainly on minimalist signs (patterns) such as the letters X and U, stripes, and the monochrome. There are three new formats of image-making: the cell phone snapshot, the screen capture, and the zoom. Each of those formats inaugurates new motifs and themes. First, you have cell phone shots taken in the studio. For example, a distorted Marcel Breuer chair in front of a monochrome, or the floor in the studio, or a view from the studio window of the New York skyline, or a “genre scene” in the studio’s kitchen with assistants. Second, you have screenshots of the New York Times home page, or various product ads. And finally, you have a new series of abstract paintings, which are close-ups of bitmap files.

JB: Achim, are you making the argument that these motifs and formats constitute a break from Wade’s earlier work, or that this latest direction marks a new beginning?

AH: Yes and no. It seems like a process of “zooming in” and “zooming out” from the previous work. He is both delving into the “anatomy” of the digital le and reaching out to the world—but both approaches follow the logic of digital image- making. It seems like a process of unfolding aspects already rooted in the previous work. Wade, I think you are tracking the rapid expansion and ramification of the digital code in all areas of life: the click onto the newspaper in the morning is equal to capturing a glance from the studio window or a chat in the kitchen.

WG: From my perspective, it’s new but it’s also the same. I’ve always thought of the work as photographic in some way. The scanner imports images or objects as digital les. The printer was originally designed to replace darkroom photography—it was an industry takeover of photography. At times, when I was beginning to use this technique, I used the machine to do what it was designed to do, and other times I looked to the periphery of its nature.

JB: Right, and in so doing, you’ve been entwining, or even reversing, the logic of the analog moving toward the digital. In fact, the industrialization of the photograph marked a kind of technological progress that, as time passes, now begins to suggest a kind of regress—insofar as the function of printers has changed so rapidly that it is easy to forget they were designed to produce photographs. Not incidentally, they were also designed to produce print (text). It’s significant that images and words are treated essentially the same way by these machines.

WG: Right, text as well as images. These Epson printers in particular replaced a chemical process of image-making.

JB: Right, from analog to digital ... and then back again. I have a question for you about this: You first used the printer to make objects that weren’t quite paintings or couldn’t so easily be mistaken as paintings. You used unprimed or unstretched linen, for instance, which is rarely used in conventional painting. You pitted the painterly potential of the printer against its inherent anti-painterly function as photographic. Eventually, this led to objects that could only be described as paintings— but paintings that internally were always already contradictory. Even if undeniably paintings, they are photographic. And if undeniably photographic, they are nonetheless gestural. It’s a kind of code-switching that happens within a single object, but now not so much visually as contextually. Your early work looks—or perhaps a better word would be “operates”—differently today than it did ten years ago, and your current work couldn’t have been made until now. This has something to do with the mobility of ideas around both what makes a painting a painting and what makes a photograph a photograph. Perhaps what’s most interesting about your work being so universally understood as “painting” is that it continues to both test and reinscribe aspects of that nomination.

WG: What I like about the New York Times paintings is how they antagonize the other paintings in the studio. If you put one next to a monochrome that appears nonphotographic and that you invest with painterly content, you feel the tension between the objects. Through juxtaposition the paintings reveal things about each other and the language that either props them up or dismantles them. They make everything feel precarious. I think it’s important that there is this disrespect for the older works embedded in these new works.

AH: There is an interplay between painting and photography going on. Some of the new paintings, which use snapshots or screenshots in a very straightforward, somewhat “photorealistic” way, have a very fluid painterly surface.

WG: Yeah, sometimes they are very wet, very saturated, too much ink. Approaching watercolor.

AH: I have the impression that the more photographic the new work gets, the more you allow a “painterly mood” to enter: drips running down, or atmospheric blurrings. Those devices were already there in the earlier paintings. You were always very conscious about the allusions to the materiality of the surface, but the range of references seems more nuanced now.

JB: I wouldn’t disagree with that, but to me these are less about painterly abstraction per se and more about the kind of abstraction that results from new modes of digital production as they bump up against analog materiality. For example, on the weekend I get the New York Times print edition, and the colors on newsprint have a kind of unintentionally gestural or abstract feel. If I remember correctly, this results from a change in printing technology that happened a few years ago that allowed color images to be produced cheaply but also ushered in a whole new kind of glitchiness. There’s something very “digital” about the New York Times color images now, a kind of skewed register that nonetheless approximates a watercolor pigment as it lays on the page.

WG: When it comes to aspects of the work that seem to admit to the process of the printing—the drips, or what people like to call “mistakes”—sometimes these things are too much for me to look at. Some viewers like to fantasize about the painterly qualities. But I never really invested much in those details. Often the painterly aspects of the process were just distracting to me. These days my attention has gone elsewhere, so maybe I’m more permissive.

JB: It’s your “late” work!

WG: Maybe I am doing the late work early.

AH: One of the first motifs of the new series is in the “snapshot” paintings: the distorted Breuer chair is positioned in front of an early monochrome painting. It is an arbitrary, irritating, even banal shot. Obviously, it’s not a loud, spectacular leap into a new body of work. But the deeper you dig into the motif, the more complex it becomes. It is reflecting on the older work, in the literal sense that an early work is visible in the image, but the casual snapshot is also unpredictable and surprising. It taps into a new type of image, which are circulating everywhere, bringing in a whole social dimension of image production. Namely, I refer to snapshots sent via email, Twitter, WhatsApp, and so on. In the ubiquity of these kinds of images, they imply a spontaneity and intimacy.

JB: This kind of image—the twisted Breuer chair, which of course is also an artwork by Wade (one of his Action Chair sculptures from the mid 2000s)—gets to the heart of a defining paradox in the work. On the one hand, this is clearly a spontaneous snapshot, probably one of many, and it’s unclear why this one made the cut and is chosen to populate a number of paintings. But, despite its ostensible randomness, it doesn’t behave in the way we’ve come to understand aleatory procedures in historical works of art. The fact that this image is intentionally reproduced again and again makes it seem like it must have significance, even if its repetition doesn’t get us any closer to understanding what that significance is. Repetition itself is a marker of significance and intentionality, the very opposite of chance and randomness. I remember all the early discussions of 9/11, and how many people speculated that the Twin Towers were picked specifically for the symbolic power of being more-than-one. One plane crashing into one tower might be an accident. Two planes crashing into two towers can’t be. Yet, here, as you point out, Achim, something of the spontaneity of the snapshot is maintained, even as it is repeated over and over again.

AH: Yeah, the motif is building up a new logic or system. Also, the digital snapshot is blown up into a tableau-like format. It’s turned into a monument, enriched with the symbolic power of history painting: the cell phone snapshot as the new “painting of modern life”—or the other way round, thus pointing to the inflation of the vulgarity of this very same tradition. It’s like Jeff Wall meets Daniel Buren or Richard Serra meets Wolfgang Tillmans. There is an extreme internal tension going on, on all levels, which is played out not as a conflict, but as a joy tilting between antagonistic forces.

JB: The word “irritated” came up before we started recording, and I’m interested to bring it to bear on this conversation. Maybe what we are talking about is less a new logic or system and instead a means to irritate existing logics and systems. To this end, your work, Wade, is deeply irritating, in that it sort of dangles two ends of a spectrum in front of a viewer without affording any resolution between them. There’s pleasure on both sides of the spectrum, but it’s a discordant, ambivalent pleasure. On the one hand, you often present satisfying compositions that reassure a viewer that painting still holds a rm place in the world and somehow carries on some aspect of the project of modernism. On the other hand, there are all kinds of clear markers that diffract that satisfaction, or at least call attention to the eroding foundation for that satisfaction. That modality of dismantling painting in order to maintain it is, of course, very recognizable as a function in art history (in some cases it’s an aesthetic bordering on formalism). Because of this, the role of repetition becomes really boring in a way— it’s truly predictable. It performs intentionality and a kind of structuring mechanism, but to what end: Why? Really, why? [laughter] And this is what’s irritating. These are gestures that read at once (historically) revolutionary and (cynically) rote.


Wade Guyton: Zwei Dekaden MCMXCIX–MMXIX


Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 9783960987079
USD $85.00
| CAN $119

Pub Date: 4/14/2020
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton, Peter Fischli, David Weiss


Aspen Art Press

ISBN: 9780934324861
USD $75.00
| CAN $108 UK £ 65

Pub Date: 9/15/2020
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier, Abridged


Koenig Books

ISBN: 9783960982128
USD $20.00
| CAN $27.95

Pub Date: 3/27/2018
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: Zeichnungen von Drama und Frühstück im Atelier Vol. II


Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 9783960982043
USD $40.00
| CAN $54

Pub Date: 3/27/2018
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier


Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 9783960980759
USD $75.00
| CAN $99

Pub Date: 9/26/2017
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: Zeichnungen von Drama und Frühstück im Atelier


Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 9783960980971
USD $39.95
| CAN $53.95

Pub Date: 7/25/2017
Active | Out of stock

Writings on Wade Guyton



ISBN: 9783037644737
USD $29.95
| CAN $39.95

Pub Date: 4/24/2018
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: 26 Avril–7 Juin 2008


Koenig Books

ISBN: 9783863358006
USD $39.95
| CAN $53.95

Pub Date: 1/26/2016
Active | Out of stock

Wade Guyton: Zeichnungen für ein kleines Zimmer Vol. 2.


Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 9783863355425
USD $40.00
| CAN $54

Pub Date: 9/30/2014
Active | Out of stock