Joe Guy

Adams-Middleton Gallery

Joe Guy’s paintings constitute a meditation on absence. “Volume of Hours,” 1986–88, is a series of books that open onto their own empty contents. Shelf, 1985, is a simple and elegant support for nothing. A series of small works from the past several years share the title “Homage: Deus Absconditus,” 1985–86. In each work, three pieces are hinged together like the sections of an altarpiece and covered completely with a dense, almost reflective black made of graphite and wax. There is a sense in Guy’s work that an image has been obliterated by this blackness, as though content had been consumed by a void. Blackness itself comes to serve as an image, establishing the tension between assertion and denial that informs Guy’s work.

Given this tension, it is not surprising that Guy’s images are created by a process that stresses the physicality of the objects. He stretches Japanese papers over wooden

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