Deluge II is a remarkable painting created in 1975 by the late great American artist, Philip Guston. It is an oil painting that measures 6 feet 7 3/8 inches by 9 feet 3 inches. Deluge II is part of the MoMA’s permanent collection and can be viewed in their museum. It depicts a figure being a bottle, a head with eyes closed, an arch, and a wall. These elements give the painting a feeling of destruction and chaos but with an underlying hope for something better – because the transition from destruction to renewal often has to start from chaos.
In 1969, Philip Guston also created an artwork that was similar to Deluge Ii called City Limits. This painting talks about urban destruction through its composition of abstracted shapes and fragmented language; however, unlike Deluge II, it doesn’t portray any hope for rebuilding out of destruction. Similar topics run between these two works; they both capture feelings of displacement and displacement caused by urban destruction while also maintaining their own distinct messages.
The work of Philip Guston stands as one of America’s finest artistic traditions; his study on destruction through art captures the zeitgeist of his time in captivating and emotive details which still resonate today. Works such as Deluge II and City Limits are important observations on human suffering which leave us with deep reflections into our own world – one step closer to understanding ourselves in relation with each other.