Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Hardcover, 11.5 x 12.5 in. / 248 pgs / 256 color / 4 bw.

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Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 12   

ISBN 9783906915029 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $78.00

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"When I came back from Europe in the summer of 1971, I was pretty disturbed about everything in the country politically, the administration specifically, and I started doing cartoon characters. And one thing led to another, and so for months I did hundreds of drawings and they seemed to form a kind of story line, a sequence. So I put them in the form of a book."
—Philip Guston


Satirical portraits of Nixon made at the height of Watergate scandal in 1971: A timely book in the age of Trump!
  • One of the best-reviewed and most-attended gallery shows of the last season
  • "Now, as we stare down the barrel of four years of white supremacism, virulent sexism, vilification of dissidents, states' rights over civil rights, and an escalation of Us against Them strife, we gotta wonder if Guston was actually half a century ahead of the curve." The Village Voice
  • "The wit in these drawings is in Guston's giving Nixon a schlong for a nose, the better to fuck America with, and playing endless variations on Dick's dick." William Corbett in The Brooklyn Rail
  • Philip Guston was an influential Abstract Expressionist painter, who late in his career returned to representational, cartoonish renderings. He was Jewish and liberal - both of which influenced his art work.
  • He taught at NYU, Pratt Institute, and Boston University.
  • 73 of these drawings were published in 'Poor Richard' (University of Chicago Press, 2001)
  • This book has ALL 180 of Guston's Nixon drawings.
  • Debra Bricker Balken is an independent curator who teaches at RISD
  • Phong Bui is The Brooklyn Rail's Artistic Director and Publisher
  • William Corbett teaches at NYU, Harvard, and MIT
  • Irving Sandler is the esteemed art critic and writer and a professor of art at SUNY Purchase
  • Lisa Yuskavage is a NY-based figurative artist
  • Bob Mankoff is the cartoon editor for The New Yorker
  • Katy Siegel is Curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art and teaches at Stony Brook University, NY.



Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings

1971 & 1975

Text by Musa Mayer, Debra Bricker Balken. Contributions by Phong Bui, William Corbett, Irving Sandler, Lisa Yuskavage, Bob Mankoff, Katy Siegel.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings.'

"Guston's Richard Nixon drawings are nasty, scabrous, witty, grossly unfair and one of the juster verdicts handed down on our 37th president, the only one to resign from office." -William Corbett, The Brooklyn Rail

Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings is the first comprehensive collection of Guston’s legendary satirical caricatures of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Expanding on Poor Richard (University of Chicago Press, 2001, now out of print and rare), it features some 180 works depicting Nixon and his cronies from 1971 and 1975. The book opens with an introduction by Philip Guston’s daughter, Musa Mayer, and also includes the transcript of a panel discussion moderated by Phong Bui with William Corbett, Irving Sandler, Lisa Yuskavage, Bob Mankoff and Katy Siegel.

These trenchant works were created in the tumultuous political climate of the early 1970s; the US was reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the chaos of the 1968 presidential election and the enduring violence of the Vietnam War. The publication of the Pentagon Papers, and Nixon’s unsuccessful attempts to prevent their disclosure, made the president look both amoral and somewhat hapless. This is the “Poor Richard,” a slyly political little sneak, that appears in Guston’s cartoons from the period.

A contemporary of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston (1913–80) first came to fame as an Abstract Expressionist. He began reintroducing figurative elements—clumsy hands, cigarettes, light bulbs—into his work in the late 1960s. These late paintings were first exhibited, to savage critical reception, in 1970; Guston began his Nixon drawings at precisely this point in his career. Caricaturing Nixon, Guston began to refine a pictorial language equally sensitive to inner pathos and the turmoil of the public world.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings.'



Christopher Lyon

... Guston's acerbic yet provocatively sympathetic take on Tricky Dick.

Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings

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Excerpt from 'Laughter in the Dark: An Introduction'

"Pushed way in the back of the same drawer in my father’s studio that held the Poor Richard drawings were two spiral-bound notebooks and a manila folder. These contained sketches, or preparatory scribbles, I had always assumed, for the Poor Richard series. With so much else in the Estate of Philip Guston to attend to, I had barely touched the other materials in this drawer since 1980, the summer my father died. And since I had not been directly involved with the earlier exhibition in 2001, I hadn’t thought to explore what was back there since.

As Sally and I began to look through these other contents of that drawer, spreading them out on a large table, what became clear immediately was that the two notebooks contained much more than the few preparatory sketches we had expected to find. Loose within the sketchbook covers, we discovered dozens of finished, fully realized drawings, all apparently torn out of the sketchbooks upon completion.

Some of these drawings still bore the perforations from the notebook’s spiral binding along the top edge; in others, the perforations had been cut off, probably using the large paper cutter in the studio. We theorized that it was likely this method of removing the perforations that accounted for the slight variations in paper size we had noted in the Poor Richard drawings. Some of the newly discovered drawings were signed and dated; others were not. But the paper was clearly the same, as was the India ink, two large bottles of which still stood on a shelf in the studio next to cans filled with pens. This was a treasure trove, we soon realized, of related drawings all obviously made at or around the same time, during that summer of 1971. In addition to the matching paper, the drawings were all the same size as the Poor Richard drawings...

I knew that drawing had always played a crucial role at transition points in my father’s career, allowing him to resolve pictorial crises and explore new territory. “My painting comes out of drawing,” he told a group of graduate painting students at Yale. “I couldn’t live without drawing. I know that. It’s constant. You scribble. You draw.” For him, the act of drawing always seemed to possess a sense of immediacy evident in his expressive line. Here, in these works, he can be seen feeling his way forward into the new imagery, if one looks beyond the specific pictorial vocabulary of his “cast of characters”— Nixon, Spiro Agnew, John Mitchell, and Henry Kissinger.

Sally and I now believe that some of Philip Guston’s most enigmatic iconic images first emerge in these drawings as props for this narrative. In them, one can glimpse the interiors, still lifes, and landscapes of his later paintings. In these small works there are bricks, bottles, and shoes flying around a barren landscape; engulfing waters in which figures are immersed; interiors with overstuffed chairs, dangling light bulbs, mirrors, and framed pictures; objects and books stacked up in piles; rolled-up compacted clusters of “stuff” extruding fingers and gun barrels; suns and balls on the horizon. As in the Poor Richard series, the hoods are off now, scrapped in the trash." - Musa Mayer



A book for our times: Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings

A book for our times: Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings

“I don’t think Philip Guston thought he was going to stop Richard Nixon,” Katy Siegel said at a 2017 panel on the Nixon Drawings. “But I think he understood something about Richard Nixon. And I think he also said that these were the things that drove him crazy since he was a teenager—from the Scottsboro Boys to the Klan to the Holocaust. And he said that the holocausts of our time—plural—from Chile to Indochina, were the things that he cared about. So it’s not some misguided idea of his own importance or misunderstanding of his own social power. I do think it’s something profound that adds a dimension beyond a comedy routine about the way the world works. And I hope there is someone else working away in their studio who’s going to show us something similar that I don’t understand yet about what’s going on.” continue to blog



Philip Guston's Nixon Drawings have never been more relevant

Philip Guston's Nixon Drawings have never been more relevant

“So when the 1960s came along I was feeling split, schizophrenic. The war, what was happening to America, the brutality of the world. What kind of man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into a frustrated fury about everything—and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue? I thought there must be some way I could do something about it.” – Philip Guston, 1977, from Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings 1971 & 1975, a staff favorite from our Fall 2017 list. continue to blog


Philip Guston: Painter



ISBN: 9783952446126 | US $45.00

Pub Date: 4/26/2016
Active | In stock

Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings


Text by Musa Mayer, Debra Bricker Balken. Contributions by Phong Bui, William Corbett, Irving Sandler, Lisa Yuskavage, Bob Mankoff, Katy Siegel.


ISBN: 9783906915029 | US $60.00

Pub Date: 6/27/2017
Active | In stock

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