Green Rug (1976) by Philip Guston

Green Rug - Philip Guston - 1976

Artwork Information

TitleGreen Rug
ArtistPhilip Guston
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions94 x 68 1/2 in.
Art MovementNeo-Expressionism

About Green Rug

The artwork titled “Green Rug” was created by Philip Guston in 1976. This oil on canvas piece is a representation of the Neo-Expressionism art movement and measures 94 x 68 1/2 inches. It falls under the genre of interior within the “Unpopulated” series, depicting a scene devoid of human figures.

Upon observation, “Green Rug” presents a stark, simplified interior scene dominated by a large, vibrant green rug in the foreground. The rug features a series of black and green overlapping rectangles with pink bandings, suggestive of a plush, textural surface. It sits atop a wooden floor with distinct, angular yellow and brown planks, providing a contrast of both color and texture.

Above the green rug, an enigmatic pink structure, reminiscent of a chair or a simplistic form of furniture, asserts its presence against the background. It has legs that disappear off the top edge of the canvas and are dabbed with a texture that alludes to a fleshy, organic nature. On the right side of the artwork, a deep red drape or curtain hangs, creating a vertical balance to the composition, and further emphasizing the depth of the interior space.

The color palette used is bold and limited, with dark backgrounds that makes other elements pop. The absence of people or any conventional narrative leaves the viewer to contemplate the spatial arrangement and the interaction of the forms and colors. The simple yet evocative use of shape and hue exemplifies Guston’s late-career exploration of figuration and abstraction—themes that resonate deeply with the tenets of Neo-Expressionism.

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