|PHILIP GUSTON (1913-1980)|
DRAWING IN SARASOTA, FLORIDA, 1967
From a conversation between editor Clark Coolidge and painter/printmaker Philip Guston, from Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations:
CC: It’s the bones.
PG: It’s the bones of the whole thing.
CC: Because you can look at a line and it’s fantastically ambiguous, too. At the same time as being the most solid thing you can make, you could see it so many ways. You can see it as a cut, you can see it as a stiff iron, you can see it as a division…
PG: Well, at this point, however, I must say something about that year of drawing, when I did hundreds, literally, maybe even into the thousands.
CC: In Florida, right?
PG: That’s right. And up here.
CC: It strikes me as funny that that was in Florida.
PG: I know. Well, for many reasons that we don’t have to go into now, I was cut off, you know.
CC: I know. And it’s because I always think of Florida as a good-for-nothing place.
PG: It is! That’s exactly what it is. It’s nothing.
CC: Where rich people go to do nothing.
PG: I know. It’s just a nothing place.
CC: And you go there and you do that.
PG: I know. Well, I didn’t work there for some weeks or months and then finally, out of desperation, I started this. And, in fact, when I was doing these line things, I suddenly got a call from [Morton] Feldman, who was in Texas making that show for the de Menils, in Dallas? Or Houston, I guess it was. And he said, “I’m in Texas, come and see me.” No. He said, “Can I come see you?” And I said, “Please come.” He said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m down to one line.” And he said, “I’m coming right away.” And he appeared two days later. I met him at the airport and I showed him all these things. They were all over the walls, the floor. The whole studio was just bulging, hung with these drawings. They were just brush ink on paper. They were all over the floor—you couldn’t walk in. So we looked at them. And that night, after dinner, we took a walk along the beach, and I started kind of weeping. Not weeping but sort of shaking. And I said, “Well, I’m really down to nothing now. I’m just down to, like, one line.”
|PHILIP GUSTON, STATEMENT, 1968.|
Charcoal on paper, 17 1/2 x 23 inches