Resilience: Philip Guston in 1971

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by Philip Guston (Artist), Musa Mayer (Contributor)

In 1970, Philip Guston (1913–80) went public with his return to figuration, in an infamous show at the Marlborough Gallery in New York City, a show that garnered devastatingly negative reviews―"Clumsy," "embarrassing" and "simple-minded," culminating in Hilton Kramer's infamous "A mandarin pretending to be a stumblebum." Immediately after, he left the country for a residency at the American Academy in Rome that lasted into 1971.

Resilience: Philip Guston in 1971 sheds light on the pivotal year that launched Guston into the final prolific decade of his career, during which he painted what are now celebrated as some of the most important works of art of the 20th century. This volume includes examples from two major series of that year: the Roma paintings, works spurred on by Guston's year among the ruins and landscape of Rome; and the Nixon drawings, narrative satirical drawings produced in response to the political and social turmoil back in the United States. Together, these series bear witness to an artist at the height of his powers, wholly responsive to his world.

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