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Bad Times

A work made of oil on canvas.
© The Estate of Philip Guston

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1970

Artist:

Philip Guston
American, born Canada, 1913–1980

About this artwork

In the late 1960s, painter Philip Guston made a radical shift. Previously acclaimed for lush, luminous abstract works, he turned to crude, awkward renderings of often-sinister figures and objects. “I got sick and tired of that purity,” he declared. “I wanted to tell stories.” In an outpouring of figurative work near the end of his career that employed recurring imagery such as cartoonish Ku Klux Klansmen and piles of prone legs with the soles of their shoes exposed, Guston addressed sociopolitical issues as well as his own artistic conflicts. Starkly titled, Bad Times is dominated by brushy, almost pearlescent passages of paint that seem at odds with, but that also ground, a graphic scene of violence or its aftermath.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Contemporary Art

Artist

Philip Guston

Title

Bad Times

Origin

United States

Date

1970

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

182.9 × 289.6 cm (72 × 114 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Musa Guston

Reference Number

1992.733

Copyright

© The Estate of Philip Guston

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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