Close-Up III

Philip Guston American, born Canada

Not on view

Guston was a high-school friend of Jackson Pollock, who encouraged him to move to New York where Guston achieved acclaim in the early 1950s for his densely painted, shimmering abstractions. Like his contemporary Willem de Kooning, however, Guston was never fully convinced that abstraction did not have some figuration at its heart. In his paintings of the early 1960s such as Close-Up III, dark, moody forms take shape on an otherwise abstract and colorful ground, as if to foretell Guston's eventual return to comic-strip-like imagery and self-portraits in the late 1960s. "Everything has an object. Everything has a figure. The question is, what kind?" he told students at Brandeis University in 1966.

Close-Up III, Philip Guston (American (born Canada), Montreal 1913–1980 Woodstock, New York), Oil on canvas

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