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Many of Guston's paintings have a disturbing quality, featuring abject or grotesque objects. In Monument, legs are grouped in a tangle to form a looming edifice. Guston was Jewish, and had been deeply affected by film of the Nazi concentration camps, which may have influenced the imagery of disembodied limbs in his work. In 1973, he wrote: 'Our whole lives (since I can remember) are made up of the most extreme cruelties of holocausts. We are the witnesses of the hell.'

August 2004