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Philip Guston's Late Work

A Memoir

Written by William Corbett

Biography & Autobiography - Artists, Architects, Photographers

Trade Paperback, ISBN 978-1-58195-208-7 (1-58195-208-2), 128 pages

$19.95 (CANADIAN $27.95)

June 1998

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

William Corbett is a poet who lives in Boston's South End and is Director of Student Writing Activities in MIT's Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. He writes frequently on art, directs the small press Pressed Wafer and is on the advisory board of Manhattan's CUE Art Foundation.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

William Corbett's memoir of Philip Guston focuses on their friendship over the last eight years of Guston's life and on the paintings and drawings Guston made during those years. Guston's figurative work, crude and bold images beautifully painted, turned the art world on its ear when they were first shown in 1970. Corbett explores themes of change, growth, doubt, freedom and risk as Guston's work and life exemplified them. This is not a book of art criticism; art jargon is avoided. It is a book that looks hard at Guston's late paintings and celebrates their humor, violence, mystery, and sustaining force.

PRAISE

"The enigmatic artist Philip Guston is remembered here by poet and friend William Corbett. Guston, like many abstract expressionists, was associated with the Federal Art Project of the 1930s. Guston's solitary struggle between pure abstraction and loaded images of shoes, spaghetti, legs, and heads confused the critics, to say the least. Though Guston never quite attained the stature of de Kooning, Kline, Pollack, or Rothko, Corbett makes a convincing case for him by focusing on their personal relationship and his interpretation of Guston's later works. This important book is an intimate look at an artist written by a poet." -- Library Journal

"Corbett's homage to Guston will help ensure that the art and life of a most remarkable artist are not forgotten." -- Art New England

"Corbett has a gift for the close reading of Philip Guston's paintings. He gets to the heart of the artist's struggle for freedom and shows us the pain, courage, and ultimate brilliance of Guston's last work."  -- Michael Mazur

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