Curtain (1977) by Philip Guston

Curtain - Philip Guston - 1977

Artwork Information

ArtistPhilip Guston
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions172.7 x 264.2 cm
Art MovementNeo-Expressionism
Current LocationThe Estate of Philip Guston

About Curtain

The artwork titled “Curtain” was created by artist Philip Guston in the year 1977. This oil on canvas reflects the Neo-Expressionist movement and encompasses the still life genre. The dimensions of this significant piece measure 172.7 by 264.2 centimeters. As of my knowledge cutoff date in April 2023, “Curtain” is located within The Estate of Philip Guston.

In “Curtain,” the composition presents an array of objects that appear mundane yet are rendered with a sense of gravitas and emotional intensity characteristic of Guston’s late style. The central focus is a substantial red mug with white on its interior and handle, positioned front and center. To its right, two cherry-red objects resembling cherries or bulbs are connected by a stem-like feature, offering a striking juxtaposition of forms and color. Below the central tableau lies an open book, its pages spread flat and detailed with loose, sketchy lines, hinting at text or images within. The backdrop is dominated by a heavy gray curtain or drape that creates a somber, theater-like setting. The curtain is adorned with tassels, adding a touch of decoration to the otherwise austere scenery. The top part of the curtain appears to undulate, casting a shadow and introducing a dimensional quality to the drapery. The picture plane is divided across the middle, with the bottom half depicting a solid surface that might suggest a table or stage for the still life arrangement.

Overall, the work exudes an atmosphere of introspection and the tangible weight of the physical world, in line with Guston’s introspective approach to painting and his exploration of form and space during the later phase of his career.

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