Philip Guston Now

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973) Collection of the Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam. The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973) Collection of the Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam. The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Rating
4.7/5

The exhibition is entitled Philip Guston Now and runs through September 11, 2022 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

A visit to Boston is incomplete unless one peruses the marvelous Museum of Fine Arts. I was particularly interested in the Guston exhibition.

Guston was the child of Jewish emigres to Canada from Odessa and is considered by many as one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

In May 2013, his work To Fellini was sold by Christie’s at auction for US$25.8 million.

Guston’s oeuvre is described as abstract expressionism, neoexpressionism, and figurative. Some of his work is viewed from a controversial perspective, so the museum posted warnings about the content displayed in the exhibition. In his works, Guston frequently characterized not only injustice in America by examining groups like the Ku Klux Klan but the tragedy of the European Holocaust spanning before and through the conclusion of World War II.

Here are some of the museum’s narratives about the sometimes controversial content of Guston’s work on display. I have not posted the displays in question as they are in cases to be manually opened and closed by an observer. You’ll have to visit and see for yourself.

Message from the curators. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Message from the curators. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Warning about a display case showing magazine articles with photos of the KKK. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Warning about a display case showing magazine articles with photos of the KKK. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

The museum invited patrons to comment on the exhibition. Here are instructions and a sample comment.

Share Your Thoughts Instructions. Photo: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Share Your Thoughts Instructions. Photo: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Here is a sampling of Guston’s works and a slight diversion I took into the musical instruments display at the museum.

Mural by Philip Gaston. Early Mail Service and Construction of Railroads (mural study, Commerce, Georgia Post Office) 1938. Public Domain

Mural by Philip Gaston. Early Mail Service and Construction of Railroads (mural study, Commerce, Georgia Post Office) 1938. Public Domain

Tower by Philip Guston (1970). The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Tower by Philip Guston (1970). The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Gladiators by Philip Guston (1940). The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth, the Museum of Modern Art, Licensed by SCALA, Art Resource, NY

Gladiators by Philip Guston (1940). The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth, the Museum of Modern Art, Licensed by SCALA, Art Resource, NY

Musical Instrument Collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

Musical Instrument Collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ann Foster

The museum hosts splendid indoor and outdoor spaces with a fabulous restaurant. Its exhibits are wonderfully curated, rich, and diverse. You’ll want to visit when you’re in Boston.

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
617-267-9300

While we were in Boston, we dined at the Mare Oyster Bar.

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of A New Yorker’s Long Weekend in LondonNonna’s Kitchen in Hampton Junction, and Bar Italia Madison.

 

Philip Guston Now

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