ROMANCE



Max Guy & Elly Reitman
Wheel of Time
Jan 27–Mar 1, 2023


Max: Our bodies have many, many inputs for environmental conditions [and built conditions] which alter our state of mind, our capacity to act—all of this stuff. 

Elly: I have a really vivid memory of being a kid and someone being like, the sun is a star, and when it bursts, it's going to create a black hole and suck everything into it. And I was horrified. I was like, oh my God, that beautiful thing. And I was like, don't worry, you won't be alive then. And I was like, no, that's really sad. And also just the sun being this thing that dictates everything will also be gone. It's [also] small talk or filling time to talk about the weather; but also, the weather is the least trivial thing, bigger than most things we're busying ourselves with right now.

*****
In their most recent exhibition together, friends and collaborators Max Guy and Elly Reitman talk in silhouettes. Outlines that offer an opening to more freely navigate a world that would prefer to delineate our edges, to foreclose impulse and instinctual movement. We're meant to keep static and apart in fixed shapes, via standardized rules and systems of symbols. “You have a silhouette, and so then you have an outline, you have a fill, and then you have whatever is in the backdrop [...]. It’s the easiest way of establishing difference,” Max notes. In the chance patterns of how leaves fall, or the acid-green river water of Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, in circles of keyholes and manhole covers and the broken record of circular lies and the breath from our lungs, the weather and mortality and other forces of the universe, together their work asks: how do we fill our time, while here, in these structures in these places in these physical frames on this earth? It’s a conversation about alienation, but as absurdity, obliqueness, and an undercurrent of longing prevail, so, too, does the imperative of friendship.

*****

Max: I visited Elly at their house in 2010 where they were making grilled cheeses for people. In 2011 we met again in NYC around my birthday. I was there to pick up art from Erin for Peggy’s and my first exhibition in our apartment. It was raining when we ran into each other and we went to Sake Bar Decibel either that same night or the next, at an agreed time and date. Elly was very much a part of my reconnecting with New York as an artist.

Elly: Yeah it was your birthday and you had gotten ditched by XXXXXX and it was pouring rain! I had to do something. One time i stayed with Max in Baltimore on his floor right next to his tarantula Madonna

Max: I think we always have liked each other and admire one another as thinkers and people so while the collab has solidified in some ways (a name, Pluto), it actually feels more like a correspondence because not all ideas or dreams have been resolved. Also that might be because we’re both idealists in our own ways, so it’s actually really nice to fantasize together and just appreciate one another

Elly: I think both of us had very dark times in graduate school; a lot of our phone calls were about how alienating we found those experiences, how we didn’t feel like we fit in, and I think Max is a big part of how I got through it. I think Max and I have helped each other really be our own artists and people, make the things we want to make and not what we think we should make.

Max: Yeah I feel like we kind of completed each other’s sentences just now.

Elly: Lol :)





Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Max Guy
Leaf Negative, 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)





Max Guy
Leaf Negative, 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Max Guy
Leaf Negative (detail), 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)




Elly Reitman
Jacket (winter), 2024
Steel, rare earth magnets
48 x 40 in.




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Elly Reitman
Jacket (winter) (detail), 2024
Steel, rare earth magnets
48 x 40 in.






Elly Reitman
Jacket (winter) (detail), 2024
Steel, rare earth magnets
48 x 40 in.




Max Guy
Leaf Negative, 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)




Max Guy
Leaf Negative, 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)





Elly Reitman
Sinus Diagram, 2020
Steel, rare earth magnets
16 x 16 in. each




Elly Reitman
Sinus Diagram (detail), 2020
Steel, rare earth magnets
16 x 16 in. each




Elly Reitman
Sinus Diagram (detail), 2020
Steel, rare earth magnets
16 x 16 in. each




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Max Guy
Leaf Negative, 2020/24
Cut paper, inkjet print
15 ½ x 11 ½  in. (framed)




Max Guy
Enso Machine, 2024
Cut paper on broken Dick Gregory record
Dimensions variable




Max Guy
Enso Machine (detail), 2024
Cut paper on broken Dick Gregory record
Dimensions variable





Max Guy
Enso Machine (detail), 2024
Cut paper on broken Dick Gregory record
Dimensions variable





Max Guy
Enso Machine (detail), 2024
Cut paper on broken Dick Gregory record
Dimensions variable





Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren





Elly Reitman
Sun, 2024
Brass
14 x 7 ¼ in.




Elly Reitman
Sun, 2024
Brass
14 x 7 ¼ in.




Installation view. Photo: Chris Uhren




Elly Reitman
Road, 2023
Oil on canvas on panel
18 x 14 in.



Elly Reitman
Moon head, 2023
Oil on canvas on panel
12 x 9 in.



Elly Reitman, Moon head (detail), 2023




Elly Reitman, Moon head (detail), 2023




Elly Reitman
Atmosphere, 2023
Oil on canvas on panel
12 x 9 in.




Elly Reitman, Atmosphere (detail), 2023




Elly Reitman, Atmosphere (detail), 2023




Max Guy
What if water was black?, 2016
Ink on paper
8 ½ x 11 in.




Max Guy
What if water was black?, 2016
Ink on paper
8 ½ x 11 in.



Max Guy
No Reason, 2024
2 channel video
approx. 18 min. looping








Max Guy
No Reason (still), 2024
2 channel video
approx. 18 min. looping




Max Guy
No Reason (still), 2024
2 channel video
approx. 18 min. looping