Philip Guston's Influence on Other Artists

Philip Guston
48" x 60"
oil on canvas

I was asked by Gallery Aferro in partnership with the Newark Museum to be part of "Through the Eyes of Gallery Aferro Artists." The idea was to respond in some way to an object on view at the Newark Museum. I chose “Slope,” the painting by Philip Guston because Guston is an artist that I really admire and he has been very influential on my own work. My presentation is a discusson on Guston’s influence on artists. I decided to "get the word out" that I was interested in communicating with artists that were influenced by and/or studied with Philip Guston. I contacted one friend then put a call out through Facebook and ArtistRoundTable (an online art opportunities group) to find artists. I also contacted artists in the Newark Community. Artists that were interested in participating wrote a statement about Guston’s influence or I interviewed them. The artists participating range from emerging to mid-career. Three of the artists were students of Guston and one of the students continued a friendship with Guston until his death. One artist is a performing artist, another artist has only seen Guston’s work in reproduction and two of the artists live on the west coast. This process resulted in this online statement-exhibition and will also be used as a hand out at the presentation - discussion on March 13, 2016 at 1:30pm at the Newark Museum.

I want to thank Gallery Aferro and the Newark Museum for allowing me to have this opportunity. Thanks also to Randy Hemminghaus, Gary Garrido Schneider, and Carole P. Kunstadt for suggesting artists that might be interested in participating. I also want to thank the artist and art librarian Robert Lobe for suggested reading and for the conversation on Philip Guston and to Michael Dal Cerro for his huge help on this project. I also want to thank the artists that participated, Charlie Hewitt, Sara Klar, Alex Talavera/Hieronymus Bogs, Carol Radsprecher, Gloria Rabinowitz, Erik Sandgren, Anthony James Cotham, Linda Pearlman Karlsberg, Jo-El Lopez and Mary Zehngut.

                                                                                                 Patricia Dahlman 

Charlie Hewitt
23" x 16"
woodcut print

In 1968 Charlie Hewitt went to a summer art program at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York where he studied under the artist and teacher Philip Guston. At Skidmore, Guston introduced Hewitt to the New York Studio School in New York City and made it possible for Hewitt to attend school there. Hewitt said Guston was a very generous man, emotionally intelligent but very insecure. He said Guston was interested in everything from politics to Krazy Kat cartoons to high art. In his teachings Guston pushed painting from the soul, not painting as formula. Hewitt was very influenced by Guston's work and said he made more Gustons than Guston. It was hard to get of rid Guston's influence. In New York, Hewitt worked as an assistant to Adolph Gottlieb and both Hewett and Gottlieb attended the opening of Guston's critically trashed 1970 exhibition at the Marlboro Gallery where Guston first showed his new figurative Ku Klux Klan paintings. Hewitt said people were shocked and Gottlieb said it was embarrassing to see Guston show his emotions that way. With so much criticism this of course was an extremely hard time for Guston. During the following years Hewitt said Guston painted paintings about Guston's fear of dying. At the very end of his life Guston painted paintings of cherries and Hewitt felt Guston had reached a plateau in this work. Hewitt was reminded of an art history lecture that Guston gave of his 100 favorite paintings that included a painting of cherries on a pewter plate by Chardin.