(Philip Guston, Untitled, 1973, Oil on masonite)
A pattern has emerged: I’ll finally get a dealer to agree to come over and look at some work. The date is set usually a week or so in advance. Up until the moment of the visit, I’m engaged in a flurry of activity: I pump out just one more piece, I’m up and down ladders adjusting lights, I’m arranging piles of drawings, I’m preparing documentation on the computer, I’m all excited. The dealer comes. We have a decent chat. He or she leaves. I immediately get into bed and take a nap. I’m depressed for a week. I’m convinced I’m in denial about my artmaking. Wake up and smell the coffee.
From this state of mind, I usually turn to Philip Guston, especially Dore Ashton’s critical study. He always thrills me. But I suspect I’m just a wanna be. Get your own voice, girl.
I could quote the whole book, so I’ll just open it at random and give you what I find:
He often recounted the events around his first exhibition of the hooded rampagers, and he always mentioned the response of Willem de Kooning, one of the few painters who congratulated him wholeheartedly: “Philip,” he said, “do you know what the real subject is?” And Guston told how both exclaimed at the same time, “Freedom!” Guston added, “That’s the only possession the artist has – freedom to do whatever you can imagine.”
(Molly Stevens, [Untitled], 2009, Acrylic on masonite)