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5/1/09

GUSTON - OH MY, BIG GUY...


"...then I did a whole series of paintings of smokers smoking; it's me.  When I show these, people laugh, and I always wonder what laughter is.  I guess Baudelaire"s definition is still valid; it's the collision of two contrary feelings"...Phillip Guston
When I first saw the change in Guston's paintings from the lyrical, heavily  double and tripple loaded pallet knife strokes of exquisite color abstract compositions, I almost cried out loud.  I never understood exactly what was happening.  Perhaps his  close relationship with deKooning influenced his decision and out frustration that he could not compete, or did not choose to,  he needed to break away and do something entirely off the wall...something to distinquish his work and feed his ego.  This breakthough decision paved the way for no longer emerging artists, Kenny Scharf and Carol Ludlum
One of the series  of "Smokers" is now in the Whitney's permanent collection at last, where it belongs!

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