Born in 1913, Philip Guston's fascinating career is marked by a number of twists and turns. A painter of murals during the 1930s, Guston's brand of social realism was heavily influenced by the compositions of Renaissance masters as well as Cubism's treatment of space. On moving to New York in the late 40s, the artist turned to easel painting and Abstract Expressionism, employing a restrained palette of whites, blacks, and reds in his… Read more
About the artwork
A wonderful example of Guston's late creative phase, Remains finds the artist abandoning his Abstract Expressionist painting style to develop his visceral, obscure, comic-inspired visual language. Guston's composition is dynamic; a hairy sinewy hand reaches into the frame to grasp a door handle, roughly opened cans slant to one side, tipped over flasks of liquid pour their contents over the ledge on which they balance precariously. Everything is in motion and nothing is straight. Covered with energetic etching marks, the motifs appear aggressive; nails are hammered into the wall and fluid trickles down the bricks. The title, Remains, is fitting for this ramshackle assemblage of leftovers, of discarded objects, willfully incoherent in true Guston fashion.