The Poetics of Space: Fred Guyot


The Poetics of Space: Fred Guyot Selected Works 1990 to 2010 will be on display at the Erpf Gallery March 26th through May 28, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 26, from 2-4 PM, at the Erpf Center in Arkville. 

 Frederick Neil Guyot was born on May 27th, 1940, in Los Angeles, California, and moved to New York City in 1965 to pursue a career in fine art painting. He received his MFA from Brooklyn College in 1969, studying with Ad Reinhardt and Philip Pearlstein. Fred's artistic career lasted until his death in 2014, with his work exhibited at locations ranging from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City to the University of Glasgow in Scotland, as well as locally – 1982 at the Erpf Center Gallery and at the Longyear Gallery.

 Beginning in the 1980s, Fred began working in his Margaretville studio for 6 months of every year, from early spring through late fall. These periods of the year were the most productive for him -- his unheated, converted-barn studio upstate was larger than his studio in SoHo. Because of this, concepts worked on over the winter were often realized upstate with greater dimension and elasticity. His palette became richer, reflecting the constantly changing effect of seasonal light on the expansive Catskill landscape he so loved. It invigorated and restored his inherent creativity, fostering fuller expression of the visual ideas of concurrent & contradictory spatial figure-ground relationships that inspired him. 

 Fred often spoke of "the work leading his hand"-- instead of his mind directing his hand, as we normally think of it -- meaning he saw his artistic vision as occupying and flowing through his body, fueling his skill with materials to reproduce on paper or canvas the visions driving their expression. He was more relaxed upstate -- with quieter, more uninterrupted time to work -- and thus was better able to express his fascination with possibilities of the push-pull of spatial relationships on a flat plane, which he saw as valid subjects/entities themselves, rather than merely illusions of it.Fred's main concern, "space" as a valid subject within itself, was something he explored his entire career, spanning more than 50 years. Though the look of his work went through many periods, each evolving and reprising into another, the innate concerns about space that fascinated him compelled an exploration that pushed the boundaries far beyond traditional "figure/ground." When asked to describe her husband’s work, Pamela Guyot stated, “I'd say the primary characteristic is multiple spaces (fields, lines, objects) that occupy the same space at the same time, with each dimension asserting itself, and often reversing or contradicting itself, or other dimensions in the same space, in seemingly impossible ways, pushing the boundaries of the flat plane of the canvas or paper.”

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 The Poetics of Space is on display March 26th through May 27th, 2016. The opening reception will be held March 26, 2016 from 2-4 pm. For more information, contact the Catskill Center at 845-586-2611, kpalm@catskillcenter.org, or visit www.catskillcenter.org.