New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Mark Wyse
Seizure
Chandra Glick
Mark Wyse, “Seizure” Installation view.

I wish Mark Wyse could have met me at the door and walked me through Wallspace Gallery this week. When I heard him speak last fall he traced an illuminating, but surprising web of connections and associations among images that are also at play in his current show, Seizure. Every photograph is defined as Berenice Abbott says, by selectivity. Wyse goes further with Seizure to define photography as selection and relation. The question at stake in this show is if his relationships are rich and clear enough to hold our attention without further elaboration.

Wyse, like Sherrie Levine and the Pictures Generation, often uses reproduced imagery as his own. Appropriation and recontextualization are his central practices. His current installation of found and authored work began when Wyse could not obtain originals for a curatorial project. Rather than gaining access through institutions or artists, he utilized pages from more democratically available art/photo books in order to realize juxtapositions in his exhibition.

Uniform 16x20 inch white frames matte Wyse’s latest selections in two rooms of dynamic interplays. His pairings give the sense that he has lost his faith in photography, but he has replaced romanticism with new discourses among the images that make up personal and collective photographic lineages. Hunter (a 19th century image) and Family Yosemite (a photograph by Wyse) retell the narrative of our relationship to nature. Where once man hunted in the fields now, a family simply pulls off the highway to see Half Dome in a National Park. The triptych of Father, California and Young Boy sketches a rough family history through the correlations of an illustration of a man building a house, a crisp photograph of wooden shingles and a grade-school portrait of a young blonde boy (who I want to believe is Wyse).

Crops of a cartoon leopard from a children’s book and an Alex Katz portrait hang more mysteriously next to one another. In a few cases, such as Ponytail, the images feel completely empty and void. One of the most striking pieces is Mother, a 1970s looking reproduction of a woman stepping into a pond. The narrow vertical window of the matte frames her off- center. The wide blank surface of the remainder of the matte implies, in a way Wyse’s other images do not, his selection and cropping.

On my own with Seizure, I created dialogues and narratives between the works, but without any guidance the show leaves something to be desired. Wyse is a heady photographer with a deep interest in writing (see his essay in the recently published Words Without Pictures). His main practices of collecting found images, shooting and writing are ripe for integration. Right now, he is holding the viewer at a cold distance – I want to get closer.

 by unidentified photographer.
Mark Wyse, “Father, California,Young Boy”

Crops of a cartoon leopard from a children’s book and an Alex Katz portrait hang more mysteriously next to one another. In a few cases, such as Ponytail, the images feel completely empty and void. One of the most striking pieces is Mother, a 1970s looking reproduction of a woman stepping into a pond. The narrow vertical window of the matte frames her off- center. The wide blank surface of the remainder of the matte implies, in a way Wyse’s other images do not, his selection and cropping.

On my own with Seizure, I created dialogues and narratives between the works, but without any guidance the show leaves something to be desired. Wyse is a heady photographer with a deep interest in writing (see his essay in the recently published Words Without Pictures). His main practices of collecting found images, shooting and writing are ripe for integration. Right now Wyse is holding the viewer at a cold distance – I want to get closer.

Mark Wyse
Seizure


Wallspace
619 W 27th St.
Chelsea         Map

212 594 9478
wallspacegallery.com

Friday, April 2 to
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Hours: Tue-Sat 11 to 6
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