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.
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Published July 17, 2003
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography.