Philip Guston American, born Canada
Not on view
In this witty, self-reflexive painting, Guston's brushwork is textured and loose, evoking the painterly paradigm of abstract expressionism—the paradigm which, of course, definitively challenged the classical model of painting as "window" onto the world, and with which Guston himself was associated in the 1950s. In this regard, it is not insignificant that Guston’s work, with its loose brushwork and also its relatively flat colors and "sloppy" or freehand lines, echoes the stylization of naïve and comic book artists. In its juxtaposition of flatness and depth, transparency and opacity, representation and abstraction, painting and popular culture, Guston’s painting transcends its Dadaist premise of taking the blank canvas as a "readymade"—which is the theoretical "end" of painting—and offers its own idiosyncratic reimagining of painting as a discipline.