Artist biography

Philip Guston 1913-1980

American Abstract Expressionist painter. Born in Montreal but grew up in Los Angeles. Studied briefly at the Otis Art Institute in 1930, but otherwise self-taught as a painter. His early work was influenced by Renaissance masters such as Uccello, but combined their type of figure composition with a compressed treatment of space derived from Cubism and de Chirico. Worked 1934-42 almost exclusively as a mural painter on the WPA Federal Art Project and other public works projects in Los Angeles and New York. Turned to easel painting after moving to Iowa City in 1941 and had his first one-man exhibition at the State University of Iowa 1944. Awarded First Prize at the 1945 Pittsburgh International. Began to develop an abstract style in 1947, then settled in New York in 1950 and joined the circle of the Abstract Expressionists. Turned in the late 1960s to a form of figuration with schematic images of an enigmatic Surrealistic kind. Moved in 1967 to Woodstock, New York. Died at Woodstock.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.346