The title Painting, Smoking, Eating
describes the action of this picture. Philip Guston paints an artist lying in bed, smoking a cigarette in front of a large painting, with a plate of chips balances on the duvet. This is one of several paintings in a studio setting that Guston made between 1971-73 that feature a figure in bed, looking upwards at the ceiling. The imagery on the painting in the artwork, a pile of shoes with their soles facing the viewer, is a recurring motif in Guston’s work, suggesting that Painting, Smoking, Eating
1973 is a kind of self-portrait.
Painting, Smoking, Eating
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 196.8 x 262.8 cm Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, acquired with the generous support of the Vereniging Rembrandt and Mrs Guston © 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.