Philip Guston’s painting “The Pit” is part of his Neo-Expressionism Series Cyclops, created in 1976. The figurative painting depicts a hellish scene characterized by creamy applications. It is currently featured in the new show “Philip Guston, 1969-1979”, organized with cooperation from the Guston Foundation.
Guston was an American painter who emerged first in the 1930s as a social realist painter of murals. He later evolved into a unique and highly influential style of cartoon realism and made his name as an Abstract Expressionist. However, “The Pit” presents a departure from those styles and instead reflects Guston’s inner conflicts and the turmoil he observed in the world.
Aside from its symbolic meaning, “The Pit” showcases Guston’s skillful use of color and texture. The creamy applications convey depth and emotion, while the dark tones lend to its ominous theme. Although replicated on various art replica websites for purchase, seeing it up close at the current exhibition can provide an even greater appreciation for its intricate details.