Sidney Janis Gallery, New York Arthur Tooth & Sons, London Estate of Helen Chester Beatty By descent to the present owner
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Philip Guston, February - March 1958, cat. no. 17
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Guston, December 1959 - January 1960, illustrated, pl. 35
"In contrast to Kline's gestural velocity, Pollock's spiraling webs, Newman's iconic "zip" form, or Rothko's ethereality, Guston laid claim to a special immediacy and intimacy related to "touch." The paintbrush was a sacred tool to Guston. The nine-inch-long wooden shaft and the flattened horsehairs that protruded from its end were like an extension of his fingers. Guston had his pigments ground to create a particularly creamy consistency, and like thick butter applied to a hard surface, each stroke subtly squeezed out at its edges, creating a micro sculptural effect." (Michael Auping in Exh. Cat., Philip Guston Retrospective, Museum of Fort Worth, 2003, p. 41)
This work is in very good condition overall. The sheet is laid on masonite panel. There is time staining to the sheet and artist's pinholes in the 4 corners and one in the top center left edge. There are a few very faint accretions on the sheet in the lower right quadrant. Upon very close inspection there are some very minor, unobtrusive losses to the peaks of the impasto, particularly in the orange pigmented area in the upper center. There is a small loss to the pigment in the lower center 4 1/2 inches from the bottom and 11 1/2 inches from the right side. There is a minor nick at the bottom center edge with some associated pigment loss. Under Ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. Framed. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.