A selection of works from Musa Mayer’s gift will be on view in a special installation opening May 27, 2023. The display, which will focus on the artist’s deeply philosophical approach to the nature of artistic identity and the aesthetic possibilities of painting, will be organized by Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
One year ago, the National Gallery of Art announced an updated schedule for the Philip Guston retrospective. All of the original museums have affirmed their continued involvement and enthusiasm to show the entire scope of Guston’s 50 year career.
This major exhibition will be initiated at MFA Boston at the beginning of May—not so very long to wait! Here are all the dates:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 1, 2022 – September 11, 2022 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 23, 2022 – January 15, 2023 National Gallery of Art, Washington, February 26, 2023 – August 27, 2023 Tate Modern, October 3, 2023 – February 25, 2024
On the occasion of ‘Philip Guston, 1969-1979’ at Hauser & Wirth’s Chelsea gallery at 542 West 22nd Street, please join us for a special live streamed symposium to celebrate and discuss the work, life, and legacy of Philip Guston, one of the most significant painters of the twentieth century.
The artistic liberation Guston maintained throughout his career in the face of criticism serves as inspiration for our symposium. To inspire discussion, the symposium brings together an influential group of academics, visual artists, and visionaries who will offer valuable insights throughout the day.
Through a combination of panels, scholarly lectures, and individual artist responses, ‘Philip Guston: On Edge’ offers new analyses into the artist and his practice.
Beginning 9 September 2021, Hauser & Wirth New York will present ‘Philip Guston, 1969-1979’, an exhibition focused on the breakthrough figuration that emerged in the final decade of the 20th century master’s career. Including paintings never before exhibited, this show brings together masterworks after Guston had turned his back on abstraction to assert an unprecedented new figuration. While the critics denounced his dramatic shift toward dark, cartoon-like imagery, the paintings of Guston’s last years are today considered milestones of modern art. These works display not only an exquisite technical mastery, but uncompromising courage in addressing directly the injustices of American society that he’d witnessed since boyhood. Made at the height of his artistic powers, the paintings on view attest to Guston’s enduring influence and astonishing relevance to artists and the general public now.
Including masterworks on loan from museums and private collections, ‘Philip Guston, 1969-1979’ will remain on view through 30 October at Hauser & Wirth’s West 22nd Street building in the Chelsea Arts district.
Musa Mayer, President of The Guston Foundation spoke with Gareth Harris at The Arts Newspaper about her new book Philip Guston published by Laurence King.
“My small volume is intended as an affordable and concise introduction to the life and work of Philip Guston, with limited, although accurate, text and an abundance of high-quality images. The goal is to offer a sense of Guston’s whole life as it unfolded, as well as the full 50-year scope of his work.”
With regard to the postponed Philip Guston Now retrospective, there has been real progress in conversations with the directors of the four host museums over the past few weeks. Assurances have been made to me, as the daughter of the artist and President of The Guston Foundation about the importance of sharing with the public the full sweep of Guston’s vision in ways that speak to us all in the present day.
While Philip Guston did indeed address racism at key points in his career, his condemnation of social injustice and violence encompassed examples as varied as the Holocaust, the Spanish Civil War, the horrors of the Inquisition, the calumny of the Nixon administration, and police brutality against anti-war demonstrators in 1968. I believe it is essential for the exhibition to contextualize the depth of my father’s social conscience, allowing the hooded figures and other imagery to reclaim their meaning, including but also moving beyond specific references to the Ku Klux Klan. Over his 50-year career, Guston’s art reflected many other personal and painterly dimensions, including works that show his love of Renaissance painting and the 20th century masters he revered, his celebration of the act of painting in itself, and the confessional intimacy and self-revelation of his late works, with their universal human themes.
What we need now, as so many have pointed out, is to actually see Philip Guston’s paintings and drawings in all their complexity, without reductive characterizations. So, I am cautiously optimistic that we will all have a chance to do just that, beginning in May of 2022 at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I thank all those who have expressed such enthusiasm for my father’s work and have called for Philip Guston Now to go forward. Your support has sustained me during a difficult time. I hope to join you in celebrating the retrospective when it opens.
President of The Guston Foundation, Musa Mayer, and Executive Director, Sally Radic, join Phong H. Bui, Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail, for a conversation on Philip Guston. Watch the recorded discussion below.