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Updated September 21, 2020 (Original Release Date: June 27, 2019)

Philip Guston Now
Statement from the Directors

Kaywin Feldman, Director, National Gallery of Art
Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern
Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gary Tinterow, Director, The Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

After a great deal of reflection and extensive consultation, our four institutions have jointly made the decision to delay our successive presentations of Philip Guston Now. We are postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston's work can be more clearly interpreted.

We recognize that the world we live in is very different from the one in which we first began to collaborate on this project five years ago. The racial justice movement that started in the U.S. and radiated to countries around the world, in addition to challenges of a global health crisis, have led us to pause.

As museum directors, we have a responsibility to meet the very real urgencies of the moment. We feel it is necessary to reframe our programming and, in this case, step back, and bring in additional perspectives and voices to shape how we present Guston's work to our public. That process will take time.

Collectively and individually, we remain committed to Philip Guston and his work. We plan to rebuild the retrospective with time to reconsider the many important issues the work raises.

This show has been years in the planning, the result of a true collaborative spirit among us. We plan to present a reconsidered Guston exhibition in 2024 and will work together to do so.

 

Updated: July 25, 2020 (Original Release Date: June 27, 2019)

Updated Dates for Philip Guston Retrospective with International Tour Announced for 2021–2022

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973 oil on canvas, overall: 196.85 x 262.89 cm (77 1/2 x 103 1/2 in.). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. © The Estate of Philip Guston

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973
oil on canvas, overall: 196.85 x 262.89 cm (77 1/2 x 103 1/2 in.)
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
© The Estate of Philip Guston

Washington, DC—One of America's greatest modern painters, Philip Guston (1913–1980) uniquely bridged the personal and the political, the abstract and the figurative, and the humorous and the tragic in paintings of lively touch and memorable impact. A major retrospective of the artist, Philip Guston Now, the first in more than 15 years, will present a balanced view of the artist's 50-year career. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition will be on view in the Gallery's East Building from July 3 through October 3, 2021.

A selection of approximately 125 paintings and 70 drawings from some 40 public and private collections will feature well-known works as well as others that have rarely been seen. Highlights include paintings from the 1930s that have never been on public view; the largest reunion of paintings from his groundbreaking Marlborough Gallery show in 1970; a thorough representation of satirical drawings of Richard Nixon and his associates; a dazzling array of small panel paintings made in 1968–1972 as Guston was developing his new vocabulary of hoods, books, bricks, and shoes; and a powerful selection of large, often apocalyptic paintings of the later 1970s that form the artist's last major artistic statement. A fully illustrated monograph will include essays by the exhibition's co-curators and a richly illustrated chronology of his life and work, along with reflections by contemporary artists on their engagement with Guston and the impact of his work and legacy.

"Philip Guston's paintings have inspired generations of artists while also defying easy definition," said Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "This exhibition will provide an in-depth look at the career that led to his iconic late paintings and will surely secure Guston's place in the pantheon of modern art, while reassessing his impact on the art of the present."

Exhibition Support

Major support for the international tour of the exhibition is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Exhibition Organization and Curators

The exhibition is curated by Harry Cooper, senior curator and head, department of modern art, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Alison de Lima Greene, Isabel Brown Wilson Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Mark Godfrey, senior curator, international art, Tate Modern, London; and Kate Nesin, adjunct curator, contemporary art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Exhibition Tour

Tate Modern, London, February 4 – May 31, 2021
National Gallery of Art, Washington, July 3 – October 3, 2021
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, November 7, 2021 – February 6, 2022
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 6 – May 30, 2022

 

Update: September 21, 2020
Statement from Directors added.

Update: July 25, 2020
Updated with postponed exhibition dates in 2021/2022. Originally scheduled for: National Gallery of Art, Washington, June 7, 2020 – September 13, 2020; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 18, 2020 – January 18, 2021; Tate Modern, London, February 17, 2021 – June 13, 2021; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, July 17, 2021 – October 17, 2021.

Press Contact:
Isabella Bulkeley, (202) 842-6864 or [email protected]

General Information

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Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
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phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
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Exhibition Press Release

Curator Biography: Harry Cooper

Isabella Bulkeley
(202) 842-6864
[email protected]

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