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  • Published: 27 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241525715
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $24.99

I Paint What I Want to See




Illuminating reflections on painting and drawing from the great 'art-historical odd man out'

'Thank God for yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, and permanent green light'
How does a painter see the world? Philip Guston, one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, spoke about art with unparalleled candour and commitment. Touching on work from across his career as well as that of his fellow artists and Renaissance heroes, this selection of his writings, talks and interviews draws together some of his most incisive reflections on iconography and abstraction, metaphysics and mysticism, and, above all, the nature of painting and drawing.

'Among the most important, powerful and influential American painters of the last 100 years ... he's an art world hero' Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine

  • Published: 27 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241525715
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Philip Guston

Philip Guston was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1913, the seventh child of Russian immigrants. Raised in Los Angeles and largely self-taught, he found inspiration for his early murals in the masters of the Italian Renaissance. Early acclaim as a figurative painter and years spent teaching in the mid-West were followed by a Prix de Rome in 1948-49, after which he moved permanently to New York and turned to abstraction, joining contemporaries Pollock, De Kooning, Kline and Rothko. In the mid-1960s, Guston withdrew from the New York art scene to work on his late figurative paintings in Woodstock until his death in 1980, weeks after the opening of a major retrospective. His work and writings continue to exert a powerful influence over contemporary artists, and he is widely acknowledged as one of the most important American painters of the past century.

Praise for I Paint What I Want to See

Philip Guston's work gathers strength with the passing of time. During his lifetime he seemed an outsider, but now the world of painting seems to have regrouped around him. This book captures the breadth and depth of his thinking, and also captures the feeling of an intensely lively era when artists like Cage, Feldman and Guston felt that making art was a branch of philosophy. I think everybody interested in the evolution of culture should read this thought-provoking and timely book

Brian Eno

Vital in grasping Guston's contribution to post-war American art and his abiding significance to contemporary painters

Ben Luke, The Art Newspaper

An appealing little book ... A pocketsized portfolio of Philip Guston's writings, talks and interviews ... It includes a joyous appreciation of the Renaissance master Piero della Francesca ... advice to art students ... [and] insights into what makes a great artist tick

Stephen Smith, The Times

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