PRINT December 2003

Bruce Hainley


1 Philip Guston (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) A lot of what got me excited this year annoyed many. Most. Almost everyone. (E.g., Liz Phair’s Liz Phair, which is a totally great CD and, not taking away any of its heart, I’d argue, a conceptual project that posits: What songs should today’s pop stars sing? Imagine sappy John Mayer crooning Phair’s “H.W.C.”) But let me start with something unimpeachably killer: the Guston retrospective, elegantly, brilliantly curated by Michael Auping (of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where the show originated)—thorough but not tiring, and organized to reveal a heretofore almost unthinkable career-long continuity. Some critics wondered how Guston would rank against the heavy hitters (Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, etc.). They found out: Unfathomably sad, joyous, ugly, and rapturous, Guston’s as good as it gets.

2 Larry Clark, punk

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