Philip GustonGroup I 1968

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Artwork details

Philip Guston (1913‑1980)
Group I
Date 1968
MediumCharcoal on paper
Dimensionssupport: 457 x 610 mm Frame: 653 x 791 x 44 mm
Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of David and Renée McKee 2000
On long term loan
Not on display


Group I was made during a two-year period when Guston had virtually abandoned his painting practice and worked almost entirely in the medium of drawing. Having worked exclusively in abstraction for almost twenty years, the drawings Guston made around this period mark the beginning of his return to figuration. His style changed dramatically during this time and his later figurative paintings have the characteristics of drawings in paint. Here Guston’s crude black lines, rendered in charcoal, describe five hooded figures sitting in a group. These Ku Klux Klan-type figures, which had first featured in a much earlier work, Drawing for Conspirators 1930 (Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), appear as protagonists in many of Guston’s works of this period. The hooded figure represents both the artist himself, hooded and disguised, shrinking from the self-revelatory nature of artistic expression, and the evils of contemporary society… (read more)

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