Here Philip Guston paints an imagined scene focusing on a window, the blind pulled up to reveal a cityscape in the distance. Paintings hang on the wall surrounding the window, whose shapes, colours and vertical marks mirror those of the buildings seen through the window. The painting may be a reference to Picasso’s 1919 artwork of the same name, which also used the window and vertical marks as devices to experiment with forms and focus.
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Date of work
Original: Oil on panel 81.3 x 101.6 cm Private Collection, Maryland © The Estate of Philip Guston
Philip Guston (1913 – 1980) was a Canadian American artist, who worked in painting, drawing, printmaking and murals. Born in Canada to a Jewish immigrant family, he grew up in the US and was one of the most celebrated abstract painters of the 1950s and 1960s. His early work addressed racism in America and wars abroad. During the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s, Guston rejected abstraction, and instead developed a practice involving large-scale paintings and 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.