Head (1975) by Philip Guston

Head - Philip Guston - 1975

Artwork Information

ArtistPhilip Guston
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions69 1/4 x 74 1/4 in.
Art MovementNeo-Expressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Head

The artwork titled “Head” was created by the artist Philip Guston in 1975 and is an exemplary piece of Neo-Expressionism. Executed using oil on canvas, it falls under the figurative genre and is part of the “Cyclops” series. “Head” measures 69 1/4 by 74 1/4 inches and, as of the latest information, resides within a private collection.

The artwork showcases a singular, large, round head that dominates the canvas, rendered with vivid, expressive brush strokes. The head is presented in a rich, red hue set against a backdrop of varying shades of red, suggesting a depth of field with the lighter tones in the foreground and the darker ones receding into the distance. A prominent feature of the head is a single, large eye, which invokes the cyclopean theme of the series, characterized by an almost cartoon-like simplicity and abstraction.

Guston’s style here is marked by bold, flat areas of color and thick outlines that result in a sense of raw physicality and emotional intensity. The work’s somber tonalities, coupled with its figuration, reflect the artist’s departure from pure abstraction towards a more representational strategy, one that comes to grips with personal symbolism, societal issues, and human nature.

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