Wade Guyton

Biography of Wade Guyton

American contemporary artist, Wade Guyton explores the modern world’s relationship to art and imagery through readily available digital technology. He is renowned for his highly original black monochrome artworks, that he first designs on a desktop computer. The process of then printing out these designs on inkjet printers, involves human interruption and disturbance, which give the canvases unique characteristics. His technique exposes the limitations of our digital technologies, whilst paradoxically humanising these technologies through their imperfections.


These intimate errors in Wade Guyton’s artworks can be surprisingly beautiful. Such engineered mistakes often related to our experience in our daily lives, when glitches or failures in technology temporarily let us down. Often in his artwork his use of stripes, Xs, or flame motifs produce random patterns and seams, that also in part result from the repeated folding of primed linen into the printing machines.


The son of a steelworker, Wade Guyton was born in Indiana, U.S. in 1972, but grew up in Tennessee, where he finished his studies at Tennessee University in 1995. Moving to New York the following year, he took on a series of jobs and applied for the Whitney Independent Study Program, although he was rejected twice. In around 2004, he began experimenting with digital technologies and inkjet printers, highly unusual art processes that would have a significant impact on his subsequent career.


Wade Guyton’s real breakthrough came when he stopped using paper and turned to fabric. He began pulling great swathes of fabric through his Epson Stylus printers whilst they read from the computer file. The drips, smudges, and distortions he achieves through manipulating the fabric during the printing process, then alters what would be serially produced work into a series of unique works of art.


Chance is also a vital component in Wade Guyton’s artwork, and every single work he has ever produced displays, in some form or other, the results of his interventions. He has even been known to drag works with their wet ink across the floor to pick up scratches from its surface. He is regular collaborator with his good friend and fellow artist, Kelley Walker.


Wade Guyton is one of the standout artists working today, and has exhibited all around the world including Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Museum Brandhorst in Munich and Secession in Vienna. He participated in the Venice Biennale in 2013 and has appeared in numerous prestigious group shows including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.

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