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Disavowal (Mark Wyse)

Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
April 4 - May 10, 2008
Reception: Friday, April 4, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Christopher Williams / Nan Goldin Sherrie Levine / Walker Evans / Thomas Ruff Martha Rosler / Jan Groover Gillian Wearing Paul Outerbridge / Eliot Porter Robert Bechtle / Jeff Wall Thomas Struth / Rodney Graham Sharon Lockhart / Charlie White Bruce Nauman / Barbara Kruger Charles Ray Roe Etheridge / Edward Weston Jeff Wall / Carleton Watkins Caspar David Friedrich / James Wallace Black

Roe Etheridge / Paul Outerbridge Carleton Watkins / Robert Adams Andrew Bush / Bruce Nauman Andrew Freeman / Ansel Adams Larry Sultan / Larry Sultan Christopher Williams / Doris Ulmann Allan Sekula / Paul Strand Jeff Wall / Soo Kim Roger Fenton / Charles Ray Cathy Opie / Richard Prince Thomas Struth / Charlie White Ed Ruscha Robert Mapplethorpe / Alexander Gardner Allan Sekula / Alfred Stieglitz James Welling / Alfred Stieglitz

Disavowal is an engagement with our conflicted relationship to desire. If in a crude sense modernism is an embrace of desire and postmodernism is a critique of that desire, this show seeks to commingle the two. In doing so it explores key works by both contemporary and historical artists who restrain, displace, or distance desire with the intentional, or unintentional effect of accentuating desire. This show takes as its premise that desire intensifies in relation to restraint.

This show started as an act of curation. Wallspace asked me to curate a show of photographs. I quickly realized I was at the mercy of the artists I wanted to include and the availability of historical pieces. This was unacceptable. It only made sense to not submit to the control and intentions of the artists I wished to show. The unintentional or disavowed aspect of their work was what I wanted to see. The solution dictated me cutting into my books, to show precisely the objects that had formed my thinking about the work. To show the reproductions themselves, by framing the reproductions. My desire was to shift the context to a context of individuals. In this sense I think of my show as a show of portraits, portraits of desire, as if each person’s psyche was in the room.

- Mark Wyse, March 2008

Mark Wyse (b. 1970) holds a BA from the University of Colorado and an MFA from Yale University School of the Art. Selected exhibitions include: Photography on Photography: Reflections on the Medium since 1960, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (Opening on April 8th); Shifting Topologies—curated by Trevor Richardson, Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA (2006); as well as four solo shows at Wallspace, in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Wyse’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Art in America, The New Yorker, Art on Paper, The Los Angeles Times and The Village Voice. His first monograph, 18 Landscapes, was published by Nazraeli Press in 2005. Wyse’s work is in the public collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The Yale University Art Museum, New Haven. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Too Drunk to Fuck (On the Anxiety of Photography), an essay written by Mark for LACMA’s “Words Without Pictures,” project, is currently posted on
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