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Philip Guston

A Life Spent Painting

Robert Storr


Philip Guston: A Life Spent Painting is an authoritative and comprehensive survey of the life and work of the visionary and influential painter Philip Guston.

Driven and consumed by art, Philip Guston painted and drew compulsively. This book takes the reader from his early social realist murals and the Abstract Expressionist works of the 1950s and early 1960s to the powerful new language of figurative painting, which he developed in the late 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on more than thirty years of his own research, the critic and curator, Robert Storr, maps Guston’s entire career in one definitive volume, providing a substantial, accessible, and revealing analysis of his work.

With more than 900 images, the book illustrates Guston’s key works, many unpublished paintings and drawings, and photographs showing the artist’s life at home, his work in the studio, and his relationship with fellow artists. An illustrated chronology, drawn from the Guston Foundation’s archives, contextualizes Guston’s life and provides in-depth coverage of his many exhibitions.

Guston was also able to speak about art with unrivalled passion and fluency. In celebration of this, the book features a final section devoted to Guston’s own thoughts on his drawing and one of his great heroes—Piero della Francesca.


Robert Storr, the preeminent art critic, artist, curator, and educator, is the former Dean of Yale School of Art and senior curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has written numerous catalogs, articles, and books on major 20th and 21st-century artists. He was the first American to be visual arts director of the Venice Biennale and has been researching and writing on Philip Guston for more than three decades.


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