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

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

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

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During his lifetime he seemed an outsider, but now the world of painting seems to have regrouped around him. 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. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. 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.

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. Faith, Hope, and Impossibility and On Morton Feldman are two essays I think every artist should read. Even the earliest talk included here, his interview with David Sylvester from 1960, which took place during Guston’s abstract phase, seems to tee up his later practice. Whereas the UCal book was a labor of love, some years in the making—the cassette and reel-to-reel recordings were transcribed, and the book edited, by Guston’s close friend, the poet Clark Coolidge—one suspects that I Paint was whipped up in a matter of minutes. And I suppose in the Collected Writings there's a lot of repetition and this smaller Penguin edition has the important stuff; the interview with Rosenberg, and the Studio Notes.

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? Dialogues – with interlocutors like his friends Harold Rosenberg or Clark Coolidge, or with his students at Boston University or the Yale Summer School of Music and Art – allowed Guston to play out in a public forum the equivocations that informed the paintings made in the privacy of the studio. It felt weird hearing him describe the speed he could churn them out although that’s also part of why I chose it for the project, lol. 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.His declaration that ‘I think of my pictures as a kind of figuration’ is borne out in the works he was making at the time, many of which have matter-of-fact titles ( Table, Vessel, Branch, all 1960) that are worlds away from the highfalutin sublimity of those of his New York School peers. The latest edition of the Yogyakarta biennial explores ‘Titen’, a Javanese word for the art (or science? Its lack of introduction or contextual detail, aside from Coolidge’s brief notes carried over from the previous publication, isolates Guston’s statements as aphorisms or nuggets of adaptable wisdom. If you are not really into art, perhaps you will enjoy it less, but I firmly believe that reading and, in this case, almost listening, to someone who discusses the subject he is the most passionate about can not fail to captivate the reader. 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.

Dialogues were Guston’s chosen form of public speech, several of which, along with other published pieces and talks, are collected in this book, published to coincide with the opening of his rescheduled retrospective in May this year. 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. 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. Ofcourse, with Guston you're better off getting the Collected Writings, but I love these little white penguin classics. Remember that when Guston had his first 'stumble-bum' exhibition there was lots of exciting figurative painting and image-making happening.Got about halfway before losing interest due to it feeling repetitive caused by it being a collection of his interviews and talks. Philip Guston, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, spoke about art with unparalleled candour and commitment. Philip Guston, one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, spoke about art with unparalleled candour and commitment. Guston, one of the most influential and provocative American artists of the 20th century, had turned his back on the hip New York scene.



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