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Contemporary art

Western art


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Marks of indifference #1 (shelf)

printed 2009


Mark Wyse

United States of America

1970 -


Mark Wyse studied at the University of Colorado and at Yale. He is a visiting teacher at UCLA and a master printer at A&I, Los Angeles (the lab which prints most of the major artists’ photographic work). He has been exhibiting regularly since he graduated in 2001 and his work has been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It has been shown there in two recent exhibitions: ‘Reality check: truth and illusion in contemporary photography’ 2008-09, and ‘Photography on photography: reflections on the medium since 1960’ 2008.

The ‘Marks of indifference’ series from 2007 takes its title from a 1995 essay by Jeff Wall on the intersection of photography and conceptual art. Wyse has said that his ‘hope was to pit the psychology of seeing against the meaning of what is depicted, in turn drawing attention to a presence nowhere seen, but everywhere felt. For me photographs are a static way of seeing that often provides the experience of seeing oneself seeing.’ …(shelf) confuses eye and mind in a cool cerebral fashion, as well as viscerally.

‘Marks of indifference #1 (shelf’) uses black marks on an otherwise white wall to index the removal of three bracketed shelves. Lauren Ross in ‘Art in America’ claims that these ‘scars’ are flattened by the camera, to read as a ‘painterly modernist grid’. As ‘The New Yorker’ commented about Wyse at the time he showed these works: ‘When puzzlement is balanced by pleasure, what more could you want?’



printed 2009

Media category


Materials used

type C photograph


5/5 + 2AP


122.5 x 146.7 cm image; 127.0 x 150.0 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth 2009


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Mark Wyse

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history