Item description for Philip Guston Works on Paper by Michael Semff Christoph Schreier...
Painter Philip Guston's return to figuration in the late 1960s was plotted and rehearsed in his drawing practice, in which he veered between what he referred to as "pure drawing" (abstract) and figurative drawing (a shoe, a chair, a nail, an open book, a hooded head). As he groped his way into this strange and clunky vocabulary, Guston discovered an incredible world awaiting him, and realized, as he put it, that "I wanted to tell stories!" Guston's drawing was also a vehicle for collaboration--with poets such as Clark Coolidge and Bill Berkson--and for satire--the Poor Richard series. His draftsmanship betrays such early influences as the cartoons of Frink and George Herriman, perhaps instances of the "impure" art that flooded back into his practice after he abandoned abstraction. With a selection of about 100 drawings, mostly from the artist's estate, Philip Guston: Works on Paper tracks the evolution of this major American artist's drawing from the 1940s to 1980.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.79" Width: 8.5" Height: 1.18" Weight: 2.73 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Hatje Cantz
ISBN 3775719091 ISBN13 9783775719094
Reviews - What do customers think about Philip Guston Works on Paper?
the place of Guston's works on paper in his evolving artistic career Feb 21, 2008
The book is based on a major Guston exhibition in Europe a few years ago. Each of four critical essays is followed by a series of about 20 to 40 full-page plates relating to the preceding essay's theme or perspective. This format allows for better insight into Guston's work than a typical chronological format for instance. All except the last essay have smaller illustrations also complementing knowledgeable text.
Guston's work displays "expressive range and changeability" more so than most other modern artists, including Pollack and de Kooning to whom he is often compared. Nonetheless, these works on paper show the whimsy, humor, exploration of forms, and recurring underlying sense of menace which have made Guston's paintings distinctive. The whimsy, almost obsessive dissection of forms, their depth, etc., are threads which link--though do not unify--Guston's paper works (and paintings) from his early days in the latter 1940s and early '50s when he radically used "naked line as a vehicle for the most brittle compositions" through to his maturity with "the compilatory, the cumulative that conveys the sense of involved objects."
Guston's unpredictable, imaginative works are rooted in his "restlessness, self-doubt, and a mania for hard work, [which set him] off in search of the unknown and undiscovered in hopes of being able to lend these qualities pictorial expression." No one can doubt that Guston achieved such pictorial expression. The instability--though not to the point of disintegration--of the personality was the matrix of the art work. More than almost any other modern artist, even Francis Bacon, Guston's complex, fertile psychology was the source of his work.
The mainly critical essays bring in psychology and occasionally biography for a multidimensional understanding and fitting appreciation of the drawings and Guston as an artist. The collected 166 works on paper (76 color) covering Guston's career from the mid-1940s (earlier works were excluded) with the critical essays relate the significance of such works in the development of this artist's creativity.
A comprehensive survey Aug 4, 2007
This book illustrates a traveling exhibition (Germany, Denmark and the Morgan Library in NY) on a part of Guston's work that was already studied at the Moma, 18 years ago. From the early works to the last drawings of the late 1970's,including some of his beautiful oils on paper from the early 1970's, all the aspects of the artist as a draughtsman are tackled in an enlightening text, served by beautiful images. This is a high-quality publication, with many works still in private hands and never shown before . Strongly recommended.