Guston in Time by Ross Feld
Remembering Philip Guston

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Novelist Ross Feld remembers his friend, the acclaimed artist Philip Guston, in a beautiful blend of memoir, biography and art criticism interspersed with extracts from Guston's vibrant letters. Painters have needed writers from the time of Vasari. By words visual imagery is given a second vividness, and writers recast it into a descriptiveness that's infinitely portable. The figurative painter Philip Guston found such an interpreter of his art in his friend, novelist Ross Feld. Guston in Time is Feld's final appreciation of Guston and his work. Both a complex study of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists and a testament to a wonderful friendship, it is ultimately a tribute to a great character. Philip Guston lives and breathes in this book. The excerpts from his letters are brash and brilliant, and Feld's fantastic images of the man are a mosaic of his grandiosity of spirit. As Feld writes, "he was like a Zero Mostel, a supernova of personality," and here Feld has created an unforgettable portrait of a man and his art, crafted with love and genius. Philip Guston's life was, in many ways, a chronicle of twentieth century American painting. He was a muralist with the Federal Art Project in the 1930s, an abstract expressionist in the fifties and sixties, and in the last and most important decade of his life, Guston's work changed yet again. His late, figurative work-crude, bold and beautifully painted-enraged the art establishment, but helped embolden a younger generation of artists to risk a new style of painting that became known as Neo-Expressionism. He died in 1980.

About Ross Feld

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Ross Feld, 1957 - 2001 Ross Feld was born in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from the City College of New York. He started his career in 1968 as a copy editor for Time-Life Books before becoming an Editor at Grove Press. From 1978 till 1994, Feld reviewed fiction at Kirkus Reviews and was a contributor to various art fiction and poetry publications such as Parnassus. His first book of poetry was published in 1972 and is entitled "Plum Poems." Feld is the author of four novels, "Years Out" published in 1973, "Only Shorter" published in 1982, a story about his first escape from cancer, "Shapes Mistaken" published in 1989 and "Zwilling's Dream" published in 1999 and optioned for a movie. "Zwilling's Dream" was named one of the best books of 1999 by The Los Angeles Times. Ross Feld died on May 9 in his home town of Cincinatti at the age of 53. The cause of death was pneumonia related to cancer.
Published July 17, 2003 by Counterpoint. 172 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Punctuated by letters from Guston that allow the artist to speak for himself, the author describes and analyzes the deeply personal works from the last decade of Guston’s life that he believes are his friend’s landmark paintings.

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Publishers Weekly

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The appearance of the critic, novelist and poet Feld's engaging memoir of his late friend the painter Philip Guston (1913–1980) records a double loss, for Feld died in 2001, shortly after its completion.

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