Philip Guston: Slipping through My Fingers

Philip Guston. Residue, 1971. Oil on paper. Private Collection. © Estate of Philip Guston; image courtesy McKee Gallery, New York, NY

After giving 3 hour-long tours of Philip Guston, Roma, I’ll be honest; I have trouble with his artwork. Guston’s paintings are profoundly personal statements with objects that I recognize. Almost as soon as I see them I can say: I see a shoe; I see a fountain; I see a hood. Yet as soon as I think I understand what he wants to communicate, it slips through my fingers. His meanings are multi-veiled and intangible. I get that looking at art is not just about “getting it.”  But I keep coming back to Guston’s enigmas, and I’m puzzled; I’m asking new questions; I’m talking about it; I’m confused. One thing is for sure—I’m engaged.

2 thoughts on “Philip Guston: Slipping through My Fingers

  1. Pingback: Arts Roundup: The City’s Been Dead Since it Didn’t Shut Down Edition - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper

  2. Pingback: Guston’s Difficulta « The Experiment Station

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