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Classification: Painting

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Image of Road

Philip Guston
American, 1913–1980

Road

1959

Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, New York
Dimensions:
22 1/8 in. x 29 3/4 in. (56.2 cm x 75.57 cm)
Medium and Support: Oil on paper mounted to Masonite
Accession Number: 1982.0007.0001

Credit Line: Gift of Algie Hill Neill in memory of her husband, John H. Neill, Jr.

Currently On View


Philip Guston’s "Road" is a striking example from a sixteen-year period in which the artist created abstract compositions. The central focus of "Road" is a large black mass of angular brushstrokes that appear as if they are trying to configure into recognizable form. Pockets of red, orange, blue, and green surround the central black mass. Overall the painting has a gray-blue tone. However, dark blues, greens, oranges, blacks, and reds are visible underneath the gray wash—an indication that Guston worked and reworked the painting before adding the final layers of color.

Sometime after it’s completion in 1959, Guston consigned "Road" to the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. The Gallery held a Guston exhibition from December 28, 1959 until January 23, 1960. While "Road" was not included in the exhibition, it was available at the Gallery for sale. The painting did not sell, and was eventually returned to the artist. "Road" then remained in Guston’s home or studio until after his death, when the estate gave it to the David McKee Gallery in New York on consignment. It was then bought by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 90, p. 212.

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