Philip Guston’s 1977 painting entitled “Curtain” is a representative example of his Neo-Expressionist still life genre. This artwork was made using oil on canvas, measuring 203.2 x 255.3 cm stretcher, and displayed in a frame that measures 206.5 x 258.0 x 5.2 cm.
Guston’s early works were figurative with strong social realism influences before he evolved into a renowned cartoon realism style painter. He is predominantly famous for his incisive, exaggerated paintings that often convey frank social commentary.
The Curtain painting features the recurring ‘hooded figure,’ where an abstract piece of cloth overlays what appears to be an assemblage of food items like eggs or hearts resting on a table in front of it in gloomy colors, making deciphering the meaning behind the painting challenging.
It would have been part of Guston’s scandalous retrospective exhibit scheduled to occur in three museums; however, it was postponed indefinitely after concerns from art insiders feared damage to Guston’s legacy due to the racially sensitive imagery present in some of his works.