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The Morgan Will Open A Retrospective Of Philip Guston's Drawings May 2



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The Morgan Will Open A Retrospective Of Philip Guston’s Drawings May 2



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NEW YORK CITY — From May 2 through August 31, the Morgan Library and Museum presents the first retrospective of Philip Guston (1913–1980) drawings in 20 years. Featuring approximately 75 drawings from the mid-1940s to 1980, the exhibition will examine the importance of drawing in Guston’s art.

Guston was a prolific draftsman who often turned to drawing to explore new directions in his art before transposing them to painting. Several times during the course of his career he stopped painting altogether to concentrate on drawing. Such phases mark the dramatic changes that characterized Guston’s art from figuration to abstraction and vice versa.

In the early fifties, as he was embarking on a major phase of abstract painting, Guston explored the power of simple lines in drawings reminiscent of exercises in calligraphy. In the late sixties, Guston spent two years making drawings of startling economy before dramatically shifting to the cartoon-like imagery that would be typical of the last decade of his art. In a transformation that shocked the art world in 1970, Guston returned to depictions of everyday objects, such as shoes, books and irons.

Organized in cooperation with the artist’s estate, the exhibition includes many rarely-seen works that were left in the artist’s studio after his death, as well as major loans from museums and private collections. The exhibition is organized by the KunstMuseum in Bonn, where it premiered in March 2007, and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich, and will travel to the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Albertina in Vienna before it comes to the Morgan — the only American venue.

The Morgan Library and Museum is at 225 Madison Avenue. For more information, www.themorgan.org or 212-685-0008.

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