Oil on canvas
Framed: 203.4 x 244 x 2.5 cm (80 1/16 x 96 1/16 x 1 in.); Unframed: 203.4 x 244 cm (80 1/16 x 96 1/16 in.)
Bequest of Musa Guston 1992.212
© The Estate of Philip Guston
Oil paint was applied thinly on the upper portion of the work resulting in a matte appearance, while the glossy area in the middle suggests a thick, wet-on-wet painting technique.
During the last, most productive decade of Philip Guston’s career his imagery included ordinary objects such as bottles, books, light bulbs, and shoes and heads—many of which are emblematic of art historical, social, and personal experiences. Here a scroll, often associated with the Torah, or book of Jewish law, symbolizes Guston’s religious heritage. Isolated against a dark, somber background of turbulent brushstrokes, the scroll has been unrolled to reveal thick hatchings that suggest a text.
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