Wade Guyton


This is an unfinished sculpture in the studio. It's made of gold-, smoke- and bronze-mirrored acrylic, and solid-black Plexiglas. The strips are joined at the seams and form something like a screen with irregular angles and sizes. The photograph makes it appear environmental—as if I were surrounded by mirrors in a room. But actually the opposite is true: It is a discreet object that stands as a sculpture within a room. The surrounding room becomes absorbed in the object, multiplying the space perceptually. The different colors of the mirrors distort and at times impair the sculpture's reflectivity, complicating both the reflected surface and the viewer's relationship to the piece. I've built a few of these objects—one at Gavin Brown's Enterprise, one in London at Delfina— and they all function differently. As the viewer walks around the object, it's shape transforms, expanding and contracting along with the reflected architectural space.

A lot of my work is concerned with this expansion and contraction of space—perceptually and physi- cally. I take a lot of photographs and am interested in how a photograph condenses physical space and flattens objects. Often the sculptures I make reflect that phenomenon in their construction. This photograph in particular completes a cycle of contracting and expanding, resulting in a rather abstract and confusing representation of space, although this "effect" is not the only goal.

The sculpture—like much of my work—owes a lot to Minimalism and the use of rectilinear forms. But the pieces are, as one friend called them, "non-minimal." They are complicated and multifaceted, and they emphatically reject any notion of purity. They come directly from the world. There is a cheapness and a decadence to this piece...sort of pathetically glamorous—certainly committed to its shiny surface, but at the same time taped together, collapsible, provisional, and temporary.