March 2 2012

Image of Guffwatch

Picture: Christie's

Just as I was thinking 'I haven't done a Guffwatch for a while', along comes Christie's New York with some glorious candidates from their forthcoming ''First Open' Post-War Contemporary Art Sale'.

Here's the introduction to Wade Guyton's Untitled (above, inkjet printed on linen, executed 2006), estimated at $200,000 - $300,000:

A candid example from the artist's ongoing series of "printer drawings," Untitled poses a poignant double query of form and function. By folding the primed linen in half and repetitively feeding it through a large-format inkjet printer, Guyton performs an obsessive ritual that can only be realized by modern means of photographic reproduction. And all the while, the artist is also paying a personal tribute to form by referencing modernism and conceptualism.

Phoney words for a phoney picture. Think of it this way, if Nick Penny wrote verbiage like that to describe Titian's Diana and Callisto, we'd laugh at him. 

Still, proof that even those skilled in art guff can sometimes struggle to produce anything meaningful may be found in Christie's catalogue entry for the top lot in their sale, a Hirst spot painting estimated at $600-800,000. The entry is simply a lame and seemingly random excerpt from a 1996 interview with Hirst. Here's a snippet:

Damien Hirst: Imagine a world of spots. Every time I do a painting a square is cut out. They regenerate. They're all connected.

Stuart Morgan: Why are you cutting out squares? Is this a cipher for infinity?

DH: It's an idea of painting and I've always wanted to paint but this is more sculpture than painting. I guess it's infinity.

SM: And in front much smaller versions of infinity, like people dying. [...] How do you feel about nature?

DH: I've seen better (laughs). There isn't anything else.

In case you were wondering:

First Open is the perfect opportunity for new and established collectors who are eager to discover emerging artists and ready to explore lesser-known works by famous artists. 

In other words, the not so good stuff (laughs).

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.