New York

Philip Guston

McKee Gallery

Many of the small oil panels that Philip Guston produced between 1969 and 1973—of which this show featured almost fifty—depict scenes from the artist’s life, and are thus infused with an uncanny sense of the biographical. The cigar in the 1973 work of that title must be his, for instance; and so must the shoe depicted on one untitled and undated canvas. The paintbrushes in an untitled 1972 work are certainly his own, suggesting that the paintings pictured in other works—one hangs on the wall by a nail; another is centered, in effect a painting within a painting; and a third is on an easel—are by him too. Wandering through the exhibition, it was hard not to think, That must be the armchair he sat in, that the coffee cup he drank from. The hooded figures in several works are the same Ku Klux Klansmen Guston depicted many times, perhaps most famously in the early painting Conspirators, 1930,

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