Andrea K. Scott

Janice Guy

The New Yorker


For eighteen years, Janice Guy was best known as the co-proprietor of Murray Guy, the thinking person’s gallery—more Kunsthalle than commercial showcase—that she ran with Margaret Murray, in Chelsea, until 2017. The British-born Guy’s sixth sense for experimentalist talent may be due to a formerly little-known fact: she is a great artist herself. In the nineteen-seventies, she studied photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with the matchless German husband-and-wife team Bernd and Hilla Becher. You can see their typological influence in Guy’s untitled, hand-tinted series from 1976 (above), one of the works on view in her solo exhibition “Foot in the Mouth of Art, 1975-1981,” at another reliable source for intelligent art, Higher Pictures, on the Upper East Side (through March 9). If Guy was typologizing any subject, it was the female psyche, replacing the male gaze with her camera. For twenty-five years, her work was on hiatus, stored by a former classmate, the esteemed photographer Thomas Struth. He contributes an essay to a recently published book on these incisive pictures, available at the gallery, which has produced its own scrappier but no less beautiful publication.