Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Excerpts from Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures and Conversations

This past spring I read straight through the book Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures and Conversations in about a month.  It was a library book so I had to get it back in time, but it was good timing.  April/May always seems to be the time when having taught for 8 months I have nearly lost my sense of my own painting thoughts and inner dialogue.  So it was kind of like his words and thoughts took that space.  Anyway, because it wasn't mine to keep, I snapped photos of pages of the book that I thought were too good to forget.  I recently saw that folder of images and thought I'd share.

So much of what I seemed to like is how he talks about the way he challenges his own approach to the studio.  He asks himself to paint a brick wall he's never seen before, or imagine what it would be like to be the first man to draw on a cave wall or to draw something he's only felt in the dark.  These kinds of stimulus are what kept his work reinventing all the time, the struggle palpable on the canvas still.   I  think they would be the best prompts for teaching, students would lose their minds.

"Don't decorate rectangles."


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