Philip Guston — perhaps more than any other figure in recent memory — has given contemporary artists permission to break the rules and paint what, and how, they want. His winding career, embrace of “high” and “low” sources, and constant aesthetic reinvention defy easy categorization.
Published to accompany the first retrospective museum exhibition of Guston’s art in 15 years, this book traces the unconventional path of this hugely important painter (1913 – 1980). Incisive essays from leading art historians reveal Guston’s thematic influences and interests, while an authoritative, illustrated chronology shares many new discoveries about his life and work. We also hear from 10 of the most relevant artists of our day, for whom Guston’s bold, often provocative work has served as inspiration.
Featuring a magnificent array of color plates derived from exquisite new photographs of Guston’s paintings, this generously illustrated volume also highlights rarities including little-known cartoons drawn by Guston in his youth and intimate, previously unpublished photographs of his studio and painting materials.
This book offers the first truly balanced examination of Guston’s career — from socially committed public art in the 1930s and ’40s, to abstract expressionism in the 1950s, to his defining, defiant turn away from abstraction — and toward the figure — in the late 1960s and ’70s. This final decade was also his most productive, when he created large canvases of cartoon-inspired, antiheroic figures that combine the personal and the political, the comic and the apocalyptic, and the abstract and the figurative in memorable ways that resonate with artists and art-loving audiences today more than ever.
280 pages | 278 illustrations | 9.5 × 11.5 inches
Coming June 2020