Five things to do this monthby Prospect / July 19, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Philip Guston, The Studio, 1969: between abstraction and pop art
Philip Guston: Late Paintings
Inverleith House, Edinburgh,
Until 7th October
This year, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, the latest ambitious summer show at Inverleith House will be devoted to Philip Guston, one of those artists whom, in the words of curator Paul Nesbitt, “people need to see.”
Canadian-born, but an LA schoolfriend of Jackson Pollock, Guston (1913-1980) made his name in New York as a leading figure in the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. It is, however, his late figurative works, nine of which will be shown here, which are his primary legacy. Angry, cartoonish, pink, or red and black, using repeated imagery of Ku Klux Klansmen, hands, cups, cigarettes, old shoes, severed limbs, and the naked light bulb hanging in his studio, these works confounded their first audiences. Now they are recognised as some of the most influential images of the late 20th century, bridging the gap between the high seriousness of painterly abstraction and the figurative brio of pop art.