Matt Bryans

Atlanta Contemporary

Robert Rauschenberg has said of his Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953, that he initially erased his own drawings but “figured out that the erased drawing had to be from a real work of art” to have significance. Matt Bryans’s drawings, produced by erasing images printed on pieces of newspaper recovered from the streets of London, suggest an opposing principle: that erasure can serve as a means of transfiguring humble found material into art.

The way Bryans erases is notably different from Rauschenberg’s approach: Whereas the latter sought to eradicate de Kooning’s marks, Bryans does not so much remove what is on the newspaper page as edit it. He retains some things from the original images, eliminates others altogether, and allows still others to remain as smeared, ghostly traces. Untitled, 2005, a large-scale, ziggurat-shaped wall assemblage of rectangular pieces of newspaper, consists of

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2007 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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