The mystery of painting

In these clips artist Philip Guston (American, born Canada. 1913-1980) talks about his ‘process’ and SF MoMA’s Curator Michael Auping comments on his relationship to the Abstract Expressionists. Guston says that “destruction…is crucial” to his process. “I’ll find that what I’ve destroyed 5 years ago, I’ll paint now….as if when the thing first appears you’re not ready to accept it. There’s some mysterious process here that I don’t even want to understand. I don’t want to understand it…analytically.”

“The first thing always looks good and then you start to begin doubting it.”

Auping suggests that Guston got “close to the picture, almost getting paint on himself”, while the other expressionists were wildly gestural. “Guston always changed his work when it was going well…he had the courage to move ahead and address the things around him.”

From MoMA’s collection:

Untitled, 1963. Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 30 x 40″ (76.2 x 101.6 cm). Gift of Edward R. Broida. © 2010 The Estate of Philip Guston

The Mirror, 1957. Oil on canvas, 60.5″ x 60″. Private collection.

Initial link courtesy James Lourie’s Facebook post. James offers an exceptional blog with links to artists discussing their work on film and video.

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