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

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Whether the Guston myth (that he was quite so singular and in opposition to the art of his times) is entirely true, he definitely seems super-relevant to today. 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. Remember that when Guston had his first 'stumble-bum' exhibition there was lots of exciting figurative painting and image-making happening.

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. 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?Not a review—Guston’s writings and talks are wonderful—but a note to alert the interested reader to the fact that everything in I Paint What I Want to See can be found in Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations, published by the University of California Press in 2010 (this latter book also includes additional material, the editor’s selection of accompanying images, and an Introduction by Dore Ashton). 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. Or, was the whole world and everything in it set into an us-or-them binary arrangement because of the Cold War? Philip Guston, one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, spoke about art with unparalleled candour and commitment. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others.

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. Guston, one of the most influential and provocative American artists of the 20th century, had turned his back on the hip New York scene. His foregrounding of doubt – about what he was painting, which often shifted in the making, or what his own work was about, or what motivated him to do it at all – was what infused his late paintings with the ability to generate new ideas in the heads and hands of others.No criptic arty language but relatable and approachable writing about making a painting, this proves to me that's mostly art critics that makes art a difficult subject, for artist it all more simple. 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.

I am not crazy about Philip Guston's work (Philip Guston says that of Ronald Kitaj's work on page 211, Kitaj, whose work I am crazy about), I am not crazy about Guston's work, I mean, who am I to say this, but it is just that I find it crude (to use the words of Harold Rosenberg in this very book), and I generally struggle to connect with his paintings.

If you love art, or if you are an artist, if you love Guston’s work or even if you don’t like it so much, you will enjoy this book. 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. Faith, Hope, and Impossibility and On Morton Feldman are two essays I think every artist should read.

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. During his lifetime he seemed an outsider, but now the world of painting seems to have regrouped around him. Get the Coolidge/U Cal edition instead, which is properly edited and includes so many great pieces that don't appear in this throwaway rip-off, like Guston's panel talk in Philadelphia and his conversation with Bill Berkson. 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 latest edition of the Yogyakarta biennial explores ‘Titen’, a Javanese word for the art (or science?

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.

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