One of the 20th century’s most captivating painters responds to a world in turmoil
For over 50 years, artist Philip Guston restlessly made paintings and drawings that captured the anxious and turbulent world he was witnessing.
Born in Canada to a Jewish immigrant family, he grew up in the US and eventually became one of the most celebrated abstract painters of the 1950s and 1960s, alongside Mark Rothko and his childhood friend Jackson Pollock.
His early work included murals and paintings addressing racism in America and wars abroad. During the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s, Guston grew critical of abstraction, and began producing large-scale paintings that feature comic-like figures, some in white hoods representing evil and the everyday perpetrators of racism. These paintings and those that followed established Guston as one of the most influential painters of the late 20th century.
Guston was a complex artist who took inspiration from the nightmarish world around him to create new and surprising imagery. This exhibition explores how his paintings bridged the personal and the political, the abstract and the figurative, the humorous and the tragic.
Philip Guston is the first major retrospective on the artist in the UK in nearly 20 years.
The exhibition is co-organised by Tate Modern, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston