PHILIP GUSTON: Retrospective

Philip Guston, Author, Dore Ashton, Essay by, Andrew Graham-Dixon, Essay by . Thames & Hudson $50 (271p) ISBN 978-0-500-09308-5

The late work by American painter Guston (1913–1980) remains unmistakable—his rough, exaggerated reductions of people to piles of shoes, single-eyed heads or looming forearms retain their thickly colored genius as presented in this catalogue, linked to a traveling exhibition that arrives at New York's Metropolitan Museum this fall. Auping (Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments) presents 197 illustrations (158 in color) from the early breakthroughs Drawing for Conspirators (a 1930 reflection on lynching), Bombardment (a 1937–1938 response to the Spanish Civil War) and the magisterial WWII–era If This Be Not I to the final works that simultaneously record profound restiveness, humor and ambition with the barest minimum of figuration and cartoonish technique. Essays by scholar Dore Ashton, poet Bill Berkson, Guston himself and others team with the works, which are printed one-to-a-page, without text, along with paintings by such influences as Goya, Mondrian and Léger. Guston remarks, "[M]y paintings look more real to me than what is outdoors"; readers of this book will agree. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
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