Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973) by Philip Guston

Painting, Smoking, Eating - Philip Guston - 1972

Artwork Information

TitlePainting, Smoking, Eating
ArtistPhilip Guston
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions77 1/2 x 103 1/2 in.
Art MovementNeo-Expressionism
Current LocationStedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

About Painting, Smoking, Eating

The artwork “Painting, Smoking, Eating” is an oil on canvas created by Philip Guston in 1972. This piece is a part of the Neo-Expressionism art movement and belongs to the Cyclops series. The portrait genre work measures 77 1/2 x 103 1/2 inches and is currently housed at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

The artwork presents a vividly expressive scene dominated by a palette of pinks and reds, characteristic of Guston’s late style. At the center, a large white figure with a singular eye—reminiscent of a cyclops—commands the viewer’s attention. This figure, which could be interpreted as a self-portrait of the artist due to the prevalence of painterly themes, resides amidst a disarray of everyday objects. The figure appears to be in a state of relaxation or contemplation, with a cigarette hanging from its mouth and a plate of food nearby, suggesting a moment of leisure or a break within a studio setting. The surrounding environment is littered with a collection of items such as books, shoes, and painting implements, all rendered in a rough, almost cartoonish manner that typifies Guston’s rejection of abstraction in favor of more figurative storytelling. The array of forms and textures offers a glimpse into the artist’s psyche, exploring themes of creation, consumption, and reflection.

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