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

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Philip Guston (June 27, 1913 – June 7, 1980) was a painter and printmaker in the New York School, which included many of the abstract expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. 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. 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.

His foregrounding of doubt – about what he was painting, which often shifted in the making, or what his own work was about, or what motivated him to do it at all – was what infused his late paintings with the ability to generate new ideas in the heads and hands of others. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. 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?Usually I don’t mind reading things like this even if I’m not familiar with the artist but I genuinely felt like I was retaining zero information from this. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. If you love art, or if you are an artist, if you love Guston’s work or even if you don’t like it so much, you will enjoy this book. I am not crazy about Philip Guston's work (Philip Guston says that of Ronald Kitaj's work on page 211, Kitaj, whose work I am crazy about), I am not crazy about Guston's work, I mean, who am I to say this, but it is just that I find it crude (to use the words of Harold Rosenberg in this very book), and I generally struggle to connect with his paintings.

Got about halfway before losing interest due to it feeling repetitive caused by it being a collection of his interviews and talks. 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. 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. 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. Ideas about art don’t matter’, runs a 1978 note found in his studio after his death, itself an idea that launched a thousand painting careers.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. Guston is again someone you would like to invite for dinner and who would entertain and light up the evening with endless reflections and digressions about art. To read this book front-to-back is to witness his paintings gradually outpace Guston’s ability to describe them.

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