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Philip Guston at Hauser & Wirth

On View: September 14, 2019–January 5, 2020

Philip Guston (1913-1980) is highly regarded amongst artists, often referred to as an “artist’s artist.” His unique painterly style features a chunky line, bold forms, and a graphic quality that rides the line between the figurative and the cartoonish. Resilience at Hauser & Wirth, curated by the artist’s daughter Musa—and strangely the well-known artist’s first exhibition in Los Angeles since 1963—hones in on just one year of the artist’s paintings from 1971, and primarily features two bodies of work. Guston’s Hood paintings feature disembodied hooded forms alongside floating hands that ominously enter into his compositions. While the works are open ended, the hooded figures can be seen as Klansmen who are (as Musa explains) “up to no good.” Also on view are Guston’s Nixon drawings, a set of political satire drawings that critically and humorously chart Nixon’s life from boyhood. Made during the first term of Nixon’s presidency, which was wrought with scandal, these drawings are receiving renewed critical interest as they uncannily mirror our current political climate.