Philip Guston was a Montréal-born painter (1913) who became a major artist in the US.
I admire him for his honesty, making radical changes to his work over the years, going from skillfully figurative to purely non-objective (i.e. abstract) and then back to figuration; changes that had to be made in order to be true to the changes in himself as an artist.
The apparently crude approach he finally adopted (he said he wanted to paint like someone who could not paint) centred on a very personal vocabulary of recurring imagery and symbols.
This quote from Guston shows his intimacy with and insight into the painting process.
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
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