Laura Gascoigne

How Philip Guston became a hero to a new generation of figurative painters

Plus: the crude, complex and ingenious sculpture of Georg Baselitz

Ropes, legs and shoe soles haunt Philip Guston’s later canvases like recurring nightmares: ‘Painter’s Forms II’ (1978). Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum Purchase, The Friends of Art Endowment © The Estate of Philip Guston

Why do painters represent things? There was a time when the answers seemed obvious. Art glorified power, earthly and divine, and provided moral exemplars of how to behave – in the case of sacred paintings – or how not to in the case of profane ones. When modernism threw all that into doubt, the picture frame remained.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in