chicago

Gaylen Gerber

Donald Young Gallery

Gaylen Gerber tests the principles of artistic collusion, collaboration, and commingling by occasionally inviting other artists to make their work on top of his own. There is a self-effacing quality to Gerber’s own painting, too: For many years he has been making monochromatic gray paintings, at first with the same, nearly invisible still life barely rendered on it. More recently, in a gesture of generosity, he’s taken to fittting the entire wall of a gallery with his signature slate gray as a support/ backdrop on which other artists may hang their work. This focus on the generic and unassuming is less a manifestation of modesty than a strategy for focusing on Gerber’s real interests: autopsying the dynamics of painting and the mechanics of the exhibition venue.

A few years ago—the earliest examples in this exhibition were from 1999—Gerber began to give his gray canvases away to selected

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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 ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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