The Street

Philip Guston American, born Canada

Not on view

Much like one of his favorite authors, Samuel Beckett, Guston makes something serious, pathetic, and funny out of raw violence. Here the human body has been reduced to a jumble of awkward part-objects: fragmented legs on the left and hairy wrists and hands in the middle. The hands wield trash-can lids as shields, defending the territory behind them from an army of encroaching limbs. The Street evokes the violence that upset both New York City and the globe during the 1960s and 1970s. As Guston said, "When the 1960s came along I was feeling split, schizophrenic. The war, what was happening in America, the brutality of the world. . . . I knew ahead of me a road was laying. A very crude, inchoate road."

#1965. The Street

The Street, Philip Guston (American (born Canada), Montreal 1913–1980 Woodstock, New York), Oil on canvas

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