Must see: Philip Guston: Late Paintings, Inverleith House, Edinburgh
An intimate encounter with an artist's inner monologue
The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.
Saturday 25 August 2012
In 1967, after a two-year absence from painting and at the age of 54, one of America's leading abstract expressionists, Philip Guston, shocked the art world by a return to figuration with art of a cartoon-like quality that seemed to belie the intensity of his abstract work.
Yet today his "late" paintings are regarded among his finest. A show in Edinburgh gives these late works a display that suits them: encountering them as you move through the domestic space is an experience at once surprising but real.
You can engage with contemporary art not as a monumental statement set on the bare walls of some industrial building, but in the intimacy of confined quarters.
The imagery is crude, yet you are drawn in to the conversation of an artist talking to himself and then looking up at you with an ironic, despairing grin.
Guston gives you himself in these paintings, and the counter-point between knowingness and innocence makes the work intriguing.
(0131 248 2971; rbge.org.uk) to 7 Oct
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Britain's first cinema flickers back to life following £6m refurbishment
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC exit
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans