Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings, 1971 & 1975 May 2017
Weeks before the 2016 US presidential election, the international gallery Hauser & Wirth presented Philip Guston’s scathing political caricatures of Richard Nixon. Some 180 works were created almost entirely in 1971, after the release of the Pentagon Papers and the enduring societal unrest surrounding civil rights and the Vietnam War. In the 1950s and 60s, Guston was a well-known abstract painter, but returned to figuration as a means to protest his disgust with the 37th president. He had originally selected 73 works to constitute a book, Poor Richard, but it wasn’t published until after his death. This is the first time that the series, along with other drawings, are presented as a whole.