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Photo of Philip Guston

Philip Guston

Born: 1913

Died: 1980

Guston’s expressionist style distorts his figures and setting in a cartoon-like manner. Simple and as comical as the scene appears, there are deeper currents of meaning. Look carefully, as our figures are doing, and you will see that the artist rests his intentions on the exaggerated stares of his cast of characters. Everyone seems in search of something that has yet to be found.

Philip Guston’s shift of style from abstract expressionist to figurative expressionist in the early 1970s brought him considerable acclaim. During a period when minimalist abstraction and conceptual art ruled the day, Guston’s new style, along with Pablo Picasso’s late expressionist work (1968-1973), provided the foundation for a revival of expressionist styles, resulting, in part, in significant new art movements, especially aspects of the new feminist art, New Image, and the German, Italian, and American neo-expressionist styles of the 1980s.