Philip Guston’s Pinks and Reds

Philip Guston, City, 1969, Private Collection

Philip Guston was one of the most courageous and controversial painters to come out of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Critics called the 1950s Guston’s “mandarin” (influential) years. For years, he’d been creating paintings that were abstract and lush. Suddenly, he deviated, yearning to break free. He said, “I got sick and tired of all that purity! I wanted to tell stories!”

Thus began the paintings of political and social satire derived from Guston’s sense of profound distaste with current affairs.

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