Philip Guston

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Philip Guston
Ink on paper
17 1/2 x 23 3/4 inches
Bequest of Jean Dubinsky Appleton
Jean Dubinsky Appleton.

One of the most influential postwar American artists, Philip Guston was an avid draftsman who worked out each new direction in his art through extensive drawing. This sheet is a beautiful example of his abstract phase. While his drawings of the 1950s are characterized by a deep concern with structure and rely on an accumulation of short strokes to create a vibrant, pulsating rhythm, by the late 1950s, the clusters of separate strokes gave way to more fluid and organic linear compositions, like the present one. At the same time, Guston's forms became more ambiguous. Semi-recognizable images emerged, betraying the artist's ambivalence toward abstraction. He would eventually veer completely toward representation in the late 1960s, embracing an imagery reminiscent of comic-strips.

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