ASSOCIATED WITH A LECTURE (CM)
observations by the painter.
do not see why a loss of faith in the known image and symbol in
our time should be celebrated as a freedom. It is a loss from
which we suffer, and this pathos motivated modern painting and
poetry at its heart." 1958 quoted San Francisco ex.cat.,
2."The canvas is a court where the artist is prosecutor,
defendant, juror and judge. Art without a trial disappears at
a glance. It is too primitive or hopeful, or mere notions, or
simply startling, or just another means to make life bearable."
1970, in Ashton, p.126
3.Of Piero's Flagellation, "The mystery when you deal with
forms in front of forms is paradoxical because something is hidden
like a deck of cards. Here, it's the unfolding of these planes
on the picture plane so that there is a unified rhythm on the
plane as well as coordinated depth in space. The whole question
is - when does it pause ? The pause in time is a mysterious situation,
because, it cant be final. It must promise future conditions."
1965, in Ashton pp.149/50. " Everything is fully exposed.
The play has been set in motion. The architectural box is opened
by the large block of discoursers to the right, as if a door were
slid aside to reveal its contents., the flagellation of Christ,
the only disturbance in the painting, but placed in the rear as
if in memory. The picture is sliced almost in half, yet both parts
act on one another, absorb and enlarge, one another. At times,
there seems to be no structure at all. No direction. We can move
spatially just like in life."May 1965, Art News , quoted
in San Francisco catalogue p.41.
4."Around 1970, I became a movie director. I had impulses
to do things and have motifs. - crazy things like brick fights
and figures diving into a cellar hole `to thicken the plot'..."
5."I got sick and tired of that purity ! wanted to tell stories."
6."It is a real place to me this world I am painting. I feel
as if I lived there, its forms defined. All I really need is time
and more time to reveal...." Ashton p.176.
these hooded men. The KKK has haunted me since I was a boy in
L.A.. In those years they were there mostly to break strikes,
and I drew and painted conspiracies and floggings, cruelty and
evil .... In this new dream of violence, I felt like Isaac Babel
with his Cossacks; as if I were living with the Klan. What do
they do afterwards ? Or before ? Smoke, drink, sit around their
rooms (lightbulbs, furniture wooden floors), patrol empty streets;
dumb, melancholy, guilty, fearful, remorseful, reassuring one
another ? Why couldn't some be artists and paint one another ?)
" lecture notes 1977, in Musa Guston, pp. 149-50.
is the bareness of drawing that I like. The act of drawing is
what locates, suggests, discovers. At times it seems enough to
draw, without the distractions of colour and mass. Yet it is an
old ambition to make drawing and painting one. Usually I draw
in relation to my painting, what I am working on at the time.
On a lucky day a surprising balance of forms and spaces will appear
and I feel the drawing making itself., the image taking hold.
This in turn moves me towards painting - anxious to get to the
same place, with the actuality of paint and light." c1973
quoted in Dabrowski, MOMA.
like a form against a background - I mean simply, empty space
- but the paradox is that the form must emerge from its background.
It's not just executed there. You are trying to bring your forced
so to speak, to converge all at once into some point." 1966,
conversation with Harold Rosenberg, in Dabrowski, p.27.
1913; born Philip Goldstein, Montreal, Canada.His father commits
suicide when he is 10. Joins Cleveland School of Cartooning as
a 13th birthday present. Meets Jackson Pollock at High School
1930; first appearance of the hooded figures. Influenced by the
Mexican Mural Movement. Leaves formal education at the Otis Art
Institute to study Piero, Uccello and Masaccio on his own.
1934; visits Mexico. and the next year joins the US Government's
Public Works Administration and begins to use the name Philip
1939; wins the Publicly Judged Mural prize at the New York's World
Fair and does a mural for the Queensbridge Housing Project.
1945; paintings of war training, abandons murals for easel painting,
becomes art instructor at Washington University and is influenced
by Max Beckmann paintings in local collections.
1947; begins abstract paintings. And the next year goes to Europe
on a scholarship; a new interest in drawing. Gradually more and
more associated with the Abstract Expressionist group. Eventually
leaves his Gallery (Sidney Janis) after the latter shows an exhibition
of Pop Art.
1965; gives up painting, begins drawing with thicker defining
lines. Receives a second Guggenheim Scholarship and returns to
figuration. This lasts until his death in 1980.
1970; generally bad response to his new figurative work at the
Marlborough Gallery in New York.
1971, studies of individual objects transferred from individual
drawings to small canvasses. Long stay in Italy, interested in
topiary and classical monuments. The Rome series.
1974; explores the theme of the artist, the single eyeball.
1975, explores the theme of The Deluge. The piled objects series.
1981; Royal Academy, London, The New Spirit in Painting exhibition
signals a sea change in contemporary painting.