Skip to Content

Two Legs

Showing 1 of 1


  FILTER RESULTS

Two Legs

1976
20th century
203.2 cm x 233.8 cm (80 in. x 92 1/16 in.)

Philip Guston (Montreal, Canada, 1913 - 1980, Woodstock, New York) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on linen canvas
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Bequest of Musa Guston, 1992
            
               Accession Number:                1992.283             
            
Object Description: Philip Guston painted "Two Legs" after forsaking abstraction for figuration in the late 1960s. Feeling helpless and disillusioned in the face of violent events such as the Vietnam War led to this radical shift in the artist’s approach. Although many critics, friends, and fellow painters initially derided Guston for including recognizable imagery and oblique political references in his work, one critic noted that the artist’s newfound idiosyncratic “crudeness…enable[d] him to give a simple account of the simple mindedness of violence.” The limited palette and black background set an ominous stage for the two truncated, disembodied legs that dominate this composition. A recurring motif in his work, Guston’s abstracted depiction of legs has prompted various interpretations. At once symbolic of the traumas of war, this iconography may also have roots in the artist’s own biography. Decades prior, Guston’s older brother was in a car accident that crushed his legs, required amputation, and ultimately precipitated his death. Like his contemporary Willem de Kooning, Guston embraced ambiguity: “You see, I look at my paintings [and] speculate about them. They baffle me, too. That’s all I’m painting for.”

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:


Your current search criteria is: Object is "Two Legs".

View current selection of records as:
CDWA Lite XML LIDO XML VRA Core 4 MODS XML Objects JSON







Web Privacy Policy | Web Accessibility Policy