Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Philip Guston at Morgan Library

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

The Morgan's show of 100 works is the first major survey of Guston's drawings in 20 years. It begins oddly and tidily in 1946 (when Guston was 33), which is a rather late start for a retrospective. It includes none of his student work, sketchbooks, mural studies, or drawings from Renaissance masters. We are given no sense of early or formative Guston. Instead, the exhibition throws us deep into midstream, just as the artist is warming up to a crescendo. The show flowers early and briefly (the second wall is the most elegant), then trails off in numerous directions. Still, it presents the full spectrum of Guston's drawings between the late '40s and the late '70s; and, because the works on paper were extremely important and pivotal to his movements as a painter (for two years beginning in 1966, for instance, Guston stopped painting and produced only drawings), the show provides an intimate framework of the inner workings of the artist.
-- The New York Sun

Philip Guston (June 27, 1913 – June 7, 1980) was a notable painter and printmaker in the New York School, which included many of the Abstract Expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning. In the late 1960s Guston helped to lead a transition from Abstract expressionism to Neo-expressionism in painting, abandoning the so-called "pure abstraction" of abstract expressionism in favor of more cartoonish renderings of various personal symbols and objects. -- Wikipedia

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