I Paint What I Want to See: Philip Guston (Penguin Modern Classics)

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I Paint What I Want to See: Philip Guston (Penguin Modern Classics)

I Paint What I Want to See: Philip Guston (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Figurative painting allowed him to do in art what he’d always loved about talking: to lurch from subject to subject, to butt up against contradictions, to make wisecracks, to repeat himself.

Even the earliest talk included here, his interview with David Sylvester from 1960, which took place during Guston’s abstract phase, seems to tee up his later practice.Remember that when Guston had his first 'stumble-bum' exhibition there was lots of exciting figurative painting and image-making happening. Its lack of introduction or contextual detail, aside from Coolidge’s brief notes carried over from the previous publication, isolates Guston’s statements as aphorisms or nuggets of adaptable wisdom.

The postponement of Guston’s 2020 retrospective, the arguments around which need no further reheating here, cast the artist as a less nuanced protagonist than either his works or his words suggest, in part thanks to the social media context in which those arguments played out. His repeated (and perhaps willed) endorsement of ‘frustration’ as a crucial artistic ingredient in the mid-1960s gives way, by the end of the decade, to an outpouring of large-scale paintings he repeatedly admitted to being baffled by. So here we are, I am not the biggest fan of his work but there is something about artists, people who produce art, breath art, live art, and of course always think about art, that makes their discussions, thoughts and writings about art, absolutely fascinating.Usually I don’t mind reading things like this even if I’m not familiar with the artist but I genuinely felt like I was retaining zero information from this. During his lifetime he seemed an outsider, but now the world of painting seems to have regrouped around him. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Touching on work from across his career as well as that of his fellow artists and Renaissance heroes, this selection of his writings, talks and interviews draws together some of his most incisive reflections on iconography and abstraction, metaphysics and mysticism, and, above all, the nature of painting and drawing. This expertly curated selection of Guston's writings, talks and interviews draws together the artist's most incisive reflections on iconography and abstraction, metaphysics and mysticism, and the nature of painting and drawing.

What I appreciate most, re-reading this stuff, is how he manages to hold that existential, post-war bleakness without becoming too heroic and romantic.

If you are not really into art, perhaps you will enjoy it less, but I firmly believe that reading and, in this case, almost listening, to someone who discusses the subject he is the most passionate about can not fail to captivate the reader. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The editorial model adopted—allow someone else to do all the work, then conveniently “forget” the fact—no doubt helps to keep overheads low, but should we really be happy that the accountants have won again? Philip Guston (June 27, 1913 – June 7, 1980) was a painter and printmaker in the New York School, which included many of the abstract expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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