Portland

View of “Cathy Wilkes,” 2018.  Photo: Leif Anderson.

View of “Cathy Wilkes,” 2018. Photo: Leif Anderson.

Cathy Wilkes

Yale Union (YU)

How faint can a signal be and still transmit its meaning? At Yale Union, Glasgow-based artist Cathy Wilkes tested the limits of gallery-based communication with a small suite of unforthcoming images and objects that asked of their viewers fairly extreme levels of interpretive generosity. Those willing to invest in the artist’s elusive system of signification—more like an ambience of suggestion—were rewarded with a fine, almost transparent, sacramental vibration. For doubters, the experience was probably less.

Hung along the walls of YU’s hangar-like space, low to the floor, were six small images spaced widely enough to discourage the viewer from making any connections or performing cross-readings: a sun-brightened kitchen sink in grisaille, a color photo of a girl eating pizza, a drawing of a dog, a graphite drawing of some kind of grid, a white canvas with faint pink blush coming

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 PRINT EDITION of the November 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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