Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia will present the work of the pre-eminent American painter Philip Guston (1913 – 1980) in a major exhibition exploring the artist’s oeuvre in relation to critical literary interpretation. In a spirit reflective of how Guston himself cultivated the sources of his inspiration, ‘Philip Guston and The Poets’ considers the ideas and writings of major 20th century poets as catalysts for his enigmatic pictures and visions. Featuring works that span a fifty-year period in Guston’s artistic career, the exhibition includes 50 major paintings and 25 prominent drawings dating from 1930 until his death in 1980. The exhibition draws parallels between the essential humanist themes reflected in these works, and the language of five poets: D. H. Lawrence (British, 1885 – 1930), W. B. Yeats (Irish, 1865 – 1939), Wallace Stevens (American, 1879 – 1955), Eugenio Montale (Italian, 1896 – 1981) and T. S. Eliot (American-born, British, 1888 – 1965).
On view through 3 September 2017, ‘Philip Guston and The Poets’ is curated by Prof. Dr. Kosme de Barañano and is organized by Le Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia in collaboration with the Estate of Philip Guston. The exhibition will be designed by Grisdainese.
This museum exhibition, the first for Guston in a city that exerted a profound influence upon his oeuvre, is a reminder of the artist’s special relationship with Italy. As a young muralist, his earliest influences were the frescoes of the Italian Renaissance masters, and his love of Italian painting persisted throughout his career.
‘Philip Guston and The Poets’ is organized in thematic groupings, each corresponding to selected writings and poems by one of the five poets. Beginning with D. H. Lawrence and his 1929 essay ‘Making Pictures,’ Guston’s work is introduced through an exploration of the artist’s visual world, considering the very act of creation and the possibility that painting holds. In early and late works from his oeuvre, the exhibition probes into Guston’s ascent to ‘visionary awareness,’ that is, his encounter with complete forms, images and ideas, and their physical manifestation.