Kenyon College

Philip Guston (American, b. Canada 1913-1980)


Philip Guston began his education at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles with his childhood friend, Jackson Pollock. Dropping out after a year, Guston traveled to Mexico in 1934 where he became influenced by the Mexican muralists David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. With his contemporary, Reuben Kadish, he created a 1,000 square foot antifascist mural in Morelia. After returning to the United States he moved to New York and worked as an artist for the WPA program. In the 1940s he taught at the University of Iowa and Washington University in St Louis. He moved back to New York in the 1950s and continued teaching at New York University and at the Pratt Institute. He achieved critical success in the 1950s as a first-generation Abstract Expressionist. In the late 1960s, Guston moved to Woodstock, New York and returned to painting representational compositions that depicted cartoon-like images of Klansmen, lightbulbs, shoes and clocks. In the late 1970s, his iconography shifted to piles of legs and soles of shoes, paintbrushes, insects and lunar landscapes. Philip Guston’s work is internationally collected and exhibited in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Modern, London.

Photo: The Guston Foundation



Faith Ringgold's art of fearlessness and joy...
Nation Gallery logo image

Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series: Julie Mehretu
Nation Gallery logo image

Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series: Thomas Struth