Philip Guston's Enigmatic Symbology

Philip Guston left behind a successful career as a painter of abstracts to become a painter of enigmatic, fascinating works that featured the same symbology and color palette reworked through a range of variations. Who are these cigar-chomping figures? Some sort of Klansmen -- i.e., guys who think they are tough but who are actually just absurd? In his weekly column for the Boston Globe, Sebastian Smee discusses Guston's body of work and the above painting, which hangs at Harvard's Fogg Museum. Smee is a great art writer, so check it out.


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