Hauser & Wirth is hosting an exhibition of arts by American artist Philip Guston in its Hong Kong venue. Titled “A Painter's Forms, 1950-1979,” the exhibition is a survey of the artist’s illustrious career, consisting around 50 paintings and drawings, belonging to his oeuvre from 1950 to 1979.
“If I speak of having a subject to paint,” Guston wrote in a studio note, “I mean there is a forgotten place of beings and things, which I need to remember. I want to see this place. I paint what I want to see.”
Philip Guston (1913-1980) is one of the great luminaries of 20th century art. The exhibition explores his highly experimental career of half a century, dedicated to producing work from genuine emotion. He was widely recognized as a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism before an unexpected return to figuration in the late 1960s, and with it the development of his highly original artistic language of pictorial symbols.
About Guston’s works and illustrious career, the gallery says, “Guston’s transition from figuration to abstraction happened in the early 1950s bringing a new spontaneity and freedom from the formalism of his earlier figurative works. As a leading Abstract Expressionist painter, Guston achieved early critical success and exhibited frequently. During the the social upheaval of the United States in 1960s, assassinations, violence, and civil rights affected Guston’s paintings which became darker, more anxious and gestural in nature. By 1968, Guston had abandoned abstraction altogether, rediscovering the narrative power he had known in his murals and early figurative works as a young man, newly informed by a painterly sensibility forged in abstraction. By 1973, the last decade of painterly work of Guston saw works that were more overtly autobiographical in nature, often featuring the recurring reclining figure of the artist as a bean-like head with an enormous open eye. These strange, iconic forms emerging from the paintings were unlike anything previously seen in art.”
On view through 28 July, the works span the artist’s much-lauded abstract paintings and chart his transition into pioneering figuration. Structured in a loose chronological order, the exhibition begins with a display of his abstract paintings and a section marking the breakthrough into his distinctive late figurative style. The next part shows some of the major late works by the artist, and alongside that, a survey of his drawings. The show traces the evolution of Guston’s forms, shedding light on the most prolific three decades of his long career.
The exhibition will be on view from May 29 through July 28, 2018, at Hauser & Wirth, 15-16/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.
For details, visit: https://www.hauserwirth.com
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.
Founder: Louise Blouin