Memories of Philip Guston

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Caren Canier remembers her time studying with Philip Guston as a graduate student at Boston University.

"In response to the “Guston Effect”, I have decided to chronicle my memories of Guston as a teacher to reflect on the way in which he influenced a painter whose work does not resemble his own, and in doing so, hopefully reveal more of the substance of his work and teaching… Plasticity is the term that Guston always used to refer to the substance of painting and the tensions of pictorial space. His paintings are messy but they’re also masterfully taut in composition. Underneath the seemingly slapdash execution, his paintings are quite formal and reveal the high regard in which he held the masters. They’re humorous, but reverential rather than ironic. Few of the so-called Guston-influenced paintings that I’ve seen recently have the plasticity, cadence and gravity that connect his work to the great paintings of the past that he so admired."

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