Philip Guston (American, 1913–1980) was an important painter in the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, influential for his playful integration of abstract elements into figurative scenes. Born Philip Goldstein in Montreal, Canada, Guston’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was a child. As a teenager, Guston became fascinated with art and attended the Los Angeles Manual Arts High School, with his fellow future-artist, Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956). Guston then enrolled at the Otis Art Institute for several months in the 1930s before becoming active with the mural movement, and Mexican artists such as José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) and Diego Rivera (1886–1957).

In 1935 he moved to New York, where he joined a growing number of artists that worked for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Arts Projects. Combining Renaissance architectural platforms with a Cubist treatment of space, Guston developed his unique style in the 1940s, leading to a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1947. He continued to work and teach at New York University and the Pratt Institute throughout his later artistic career. His style radically changed in the late 1960s, however, as his work incorporated more symbols and he rendered landscapes and still life scenes in a flattened, cartoonish style. Throughout these later works, abstracted motifs, such as hooded heads and shoe soles, recur, reflecting the personal iconography Guston developed in his mature works.

Timeline

1913
Born in Montreal, Canada
1930
Attended classes at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, USA; disappointed in the traditional art curriculum, left after only three months
1936
Joined Federal Administration Art Project, Works Progress Administration
1941–1945
Served as artist-in-residence, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA
Recipient, first prize in painting, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, USA
1945–1947
Served as artist-in-residence, Washington University, St. Louis, USA
1947
Recipient, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
1948
Recipient, Prix de Rome from American Academy in Rome, Italy
1950
Visiting Artist, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
1959
Recipient, Ford Foundation grant
1968
Recipient, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
1970–1971
Served as artist-in-residence at the American Academy, Rome, Italy
1975
Recipient, Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association
1973–1978
Appointed as a professor of art , Boston University, Boston, USA
1980
Recipient, Creative Arts Award, Brandeis University, Waltham, USA
1980
Died in Woodstock, USA

Exhibitions

2012
Philip Guston: Late Paintaings, Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Scotland (solo)
Collecting Biennials, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, USA
Philip Guston, Roma, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Italy (solo)
2009
Philip Guston 1954-1958, L&M Arts, New York, USA (solo)
Ventrioloquist, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England
2008
Second Thoughts, Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, USA
For the Spirit: From the UBS Art Collection, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2007
No Answer is also an answer, Recent Acquisitions 2005-2007, Dublin City Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Philip Guston/Jasper Johns, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, USA
2006
The New Landscape/The New Still Life, Soutine and Modern Art, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
Enigma Variations: Guston and de Chirico, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, USA
Philip Guston: Drawings, McKee Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Philip Guston, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England
2005
Surrealism USA, National Academy Museum, New York, USA; traveled to Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, USA
BIG BANG, Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
2004
Philip Guston, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
Philip Guston, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England (solo)
Philip Guston: Retrospective, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, USA (solo)
Small Work/Large Scale, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, USA
2003
Philip Guston, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA (solo)
Philip Guston Retrospective, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA (solo)
2002
Philip Guston: Poor Richard, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, USA (solo)
Philip Guston, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands (solo)
2000–2001
Painting the Century, 101 Portrait masterpieces 1900-2000, National Portrait Gallery, London, England
2000
Philip Guston: A New Alphabet, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA (solo)
Philip Guston: Small Paintings and Drawings 1968-1980, McKee Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1999
The American Century, Art & Culture 1900-2000, Part II 1950-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Philip Guston: Works on Paper, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England
1998
Philip Guston, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
Dubuffet to de Kooning: Expressionist Prints from Europe and America, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1957
The "9th St." Show, Stable Gallery, New York, USA
1956
The "9th St." Show, Stable Gallery, New York, USA
12 Americans, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1953
The "9th St." Show, Stable Gallery, New York, USA
1952
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1951
Whitney Museum of American Art, Annuals and Biennials, New York, USA
The "9th St." Show, Stable Gallery, New York, USA
1942–1948
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Public Collections

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Berardo Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain
Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía(MNCARS), Madrid, Spain
Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
Tate Britain, London, U.K
Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, MI
Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, Boston, MA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA

Literature

2007
Schreier, Christoph. Philip Guston Works on Paper. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2007
2006
Auping, Michael. Philip Guston: Retrospective. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006
2003
Feld, Ross. Guston in Time: Remembering Philip Guston. Berkley: Counterpoint, 2003
2001
Kunstmuseum Bonn. Philip Guston: Paintings/Tableaux 1947-1979. Bonn: Stadt Bonn, 2001
1991
Storr, Robert. Philip Guston (Modern Masters Series, Vol. 11). New York: Abbeville Press, 1991