Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston
Published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers.
By Musa Mayer.
The classic, intimate memoir of the artist by Guston’s daughter, with a new afterword by Mayer
Philip Guston (1913–80) is one of the outstanding figures in 20th-century American art. Beginning as a muralist in the 1930s, Guston embraced the lyrical vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism in his paintings and drawings after his move to the East Coast. Following an artistic crisis in the mid-1960s, his return to figuration—focusing first on simple things of ordinary life, later evolving to the enigmatic and iconic cartoonlike forms for which he is now best known—shook the art world.
Night Studio is a deeply personal account of growing up in the shadow of a great artist, a daughter’s quest to better understand her father, based on letters and notes by the artist and interviews with those who knew him. First published to critical acclaim in 1988, this richly illustrated new edition includes a new afterword by Mayer.
Musa Mayer’s first book about her father, the memoir Night Studio, was published in 1988 by Alfred A. Knopf. A lavishly illustrated new edition was published in 2016 after Hauser & Wirth took over the representation of the estate of Philip Guston from the McKee Gallery. Since her retirement from a 25-year career as a research and patient advocate for people living with breast cancer, she has curated Guston exhibitions in New York, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Her second book with Hauser & Wirth Publishers, Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings 1971 and 1975, coauthored with Debra Bricker Balken, was awarded the FILAF d’Or international prize as the best international art book of 2017. Besides managing the estate of Philip Guston, Mayer is president of the Guston Foundation, whose projects include the website PhilipGuston.org, which is built around a chronology of Guston’s career and exhibition history as well as catalogues raisonnés of his paintings, drawings and archives. Mayer lives in New York City with her husband, Tom.