Philip Guston Canadian-American, 1913-1980



Born in Montreal, Canada to a family who emigrated from Odessa, Ukraine, Guston’s artistic journey began at the age of 15 when he enrolled at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California.


In 1936, Guston relocated to New York where he worked in the mural painting division of the government- funded Federal Art Project. By the early 1950’s Guston was associated with the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. He called his signature style abstract impressionism, a style of irregular abstraction with small brushstrokes of delicate color.


In the late 1960’s, Guston transitioned his creative focus to figurative painting. He developed a complex and highly personal iconography. Guston’s vision had become apocalyptic  yet disquietingly comic.


Philip Guston is regarded as a leading figure in the creation of a new style of painting known as Neo-Expressionism.