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SHARON HELGASON GALLAGHER | DATE 10/1/2020
The catalog Philip Guston Now, co-published and distributed by D.A.P., has been released and is now on sale in bookstores and museum shops worldwide. D.A.P. fully stands behind the book and believes that this work speaks powerfully to our times.
ABOVE: "Painting, Smoking, Eating" (1973)
In Philip Guston Now, co-curator Harry Cooper argues that Guston “has the guts to hold himself and his work to account.” Indeed, “holding oneself to account” is key to Guston’s understanding of what being an artist entails. As the artist himself wrote, “The canvas is a court where the artist is prosecutor, defendant, jury, and judge.” Guston does not just ask us to look at this art; he demands that we look hard at our world—and ourselves.
Philip Guston’s work is difficult; it is painful to look at his drawings and paintings of the KKK. But he is telling us something important: it is the casual, uninhibited ease of these hooded figures as they ride in their cars and smoke their cigarettes that exposes the deep moral depravity of racism.
Philip Guston Now includes essays by Harry Cooper (National Gallery of Art), Mark Godfrey (Tate Modern), Alison de Lima Greene (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and Kate Nesin (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). The catalog also features thoughtful contributions by ten contemporary artists reflecting on Guston’s painting as well as his influence on their work: Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Amy Sillman, Tacita Dean, David Reed, William Kentridge, Glenn Ligon, Peter Fischli, Art Spiegelman and Dana Schutz.
We encourage you to read the book, look at the images, think about the work, and talk about it.
Sharon Helgason Gallagher
President and Publisher, Artbook | D.A.P.