Philip Guston

  • Born 1913 in Montreal, Canada
  • Died 1980 in Woodstock, NY, USA
Philip Guston was an artist of the first-generation New York School whose later paintings led the transition to Neoexpressionism. He moved with his family from Montreal to Los Angeles at age six. Beginning in 1927 he attended the Manual Arts High School, where he met his fellow student Jackson Pollock (1912–1956). In 1930 Guston attended the Otis Art Institute on a scholarship but left after three months. He was already politically aware by age eighteen, and when his mural depicting racial injustice for the Marxist-leaning John Reed Club in Los Angeles (1931) was defaced by police, the incident only escalated his ideological bent. In the mid-1930s Guston painted murals for the U.S. Works Progress Administration, as well as in Mexico (The Struggle Against War and Terror, 1935). He began to work in abstraction in the late 1940s and became part of the first generation New York School after settling in New York in 1950. In the late 1960s Guston returned to a less abstract, more figurative style, in which he addressed many of the political themes from his earlier work.

Artworks by Philip Guston in the exhibition