Michael Byron

Elga Wimmer Gallery

In Michael Byron’s recent exhibition, two candles, in the shape of life-sized busts cast in paraffin, each faced a series of elegant gray-on-black “drip” paintings. On these paintings, typographic collage translates each dribble and squiggle into some psychological “moment”—“lust,” “laziness,” “substance abuse,” “fate,” “enlightenment,” “inner peace.” In a companion exhibition in Paris, Byron presented an installation entitled, Search6: Le Tableau d’Amsterdam 1992–93, which indicated that’ as a whole, his new work is about translation: the translation of paint into language, of a squiggle into a signifier, of an object into it representation.

Byron’s works linger like complicated, multitextured brain-teasers. Close in spirit to the light bulb drawn over a cartoon-figure’s head, the candle-busts turn the Enlightenment’s belief in subject-centered reason into a visual pun. Each entitled The

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1993 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.