Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings: 1971 & 1975

Musa Mayer (Author) Debra Bricker Balken (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
& 7 more


"Guston's Richard Nixon drawings are nasty, scabrous, witty, grossly unfair and one of the juster verdicts handed down on our 37th president, the only one to resign from office." -William Corbett, The Brooklyn Rail

Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings is the first comprehensive collection of Guston's legendary satirical caricatures of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Expanding on Poor Richard (University of Chicago Press, 2001, now out of print and rare), it features some 180 works depicting Nixon and his cronies from 1971 and 1975. The book opens with an introduction by Philip Guston's daughter, Musa Mayer, and also includes the transcript of a panel discussion moderated by Phong Bui with William Corbett, Irving Sandler, Lisa Yuskavage, Bob Mankoff and Katy Siegel.

These trenchant works were created in the tumultuous political climate of the early 1970s; the US was reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the chaos of the 1968 presidential election and the enduring violence of the Vietnam War. The publication of the Pentagon Papers, and Nixon's unsuccessful attempts to prevent their disclosure, made the president look both amoral and somewhat hapless. This is the "Poor Richard," a slyly political little sneak, that appears in Guston's cartoons from the period.

A contemporary of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston (1913-80) first came to fame as an Abstract Expressionist. He began reintroducing figurative elements--clumsy hands, cigarettes, light bulbs--into his work in the late 1960s. These late paintings were first exhibited, to savage critical reception, in 1970; Guston began his Nixon drawings at precisely this point in his career. Caricaturing Nixon, Guston began to refine a pictorial language equally sensitive to inner pathos and the turmoil of the public world.

Product Details

$60.00  $55.20
Hauser & Wirth Publishers
Publish Date
June 27, 2017
11.5 X 1.2 X 12.6 inches | 4.72 pounds

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About the Author

Before completing her MFA in the Writing Division at Columbia University, Musa Mayer worked as a Master's level counselor in the Ohio Community Mental Health system, with a particular focus on groups and women's issues. She has written two memoirs, one about her own journey with breast cancer. Musa is author of Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease. She is a nationally known and respected breast cancer activist. She has consulted for American Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Y-Me, and many other national groups on survivor issues (providing material for web sites, booklets, videos, and in-person training). She is contributing editor to MAMM magazine (women's cancer). She is a patient advocate for the National Cancer Institute and reviews clinical trials for breast cancer patients, speaks widely at cancer conferences or training sessions, and is active in the online breast cancer community. Musa also regularly teaches memoir writing, and leads writing workshops and retreats for people with life-threatening illnesses.

Phong Bui is an artist, writer, curator, and publisher of The Brooklyn Rail.
William Corbett is a poet who lives in Boston's South End and is Director of Student Writing Activities in MIT's Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. He writes frequently on art, directs the small press Pressed Wafer and is on the advisory board of Manhattan's CUE Art Foundation. Among his books are the memoirs Furthering My Education and Philip Guston's Late Work: A Memoir. He edited JUST THE THING: SELECTED LETTERS OF JAMES SCHUYLER and THE LETTERS OF JAMES SCHUYLER TO FRANK O'HARA. His newest books of poetry are ELEGIES FOR MICHAEL GIZZI (Kat Ran Press, 2012) and THE WHALEN POEM (Hanging Loose Press, 2011).
Irving Sandler's career began with a fortuitous encounter with Franz Kline's Chief in the Museum of Modern Art in New York around 1952, a painting that moved him deeply and as he said, changed his life. He began to meet artists and soon became immersed in the then-small avant-garde New York art world, becoming the manager of the Tenth Street Tanager Gallery, the first artist-cooperative, and running the Artists Club (founded by first-generation Abstract Expressionists) between 1955 and 1962. By 1956 Sandler had begun to write art criticism for Art News, and subsequently for other major art journals, as well as a weekly art column for the New York Post. He came to know and to interview so many artists and in such depth that he was called the recording angel of the New York art world (by Carter Ratcliff in New York Magazine in 1978}, and the balayeur des artistes, the sweeper-up of artists (by Frank O'Hara in a poem of 1964). On behalf of contemporary artists, he co-founded Artists Space (1972), now the longest running non-profit exhibition space in New York. He was also instrumental in the development of the program of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, which provides studio space in New York to artists (now the Sharpe-Walentas Studios) and continues to serve on its advisory committee. During the time when the events in this novel took place Sandler himself lived on Second Avenue between Ninth and Tenth Street. Sandler (B.A., Temple University, M.A., University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., New York University) is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Purchase College, State University of New York, where, in addition to teaching generations of art students, he also served for a short time as the director of the Neuberger Museum. His numerous publications include four surveys of art since World War II: The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (1970), The New York School: Painters and Sculptors of the 1950s (1978), American Art of the 1960s (1988), and Art of the Postmodern Era: From the late 1960s to the Early 1990s (1996). He has also written A Sweeper-Up After Artists: A Memoir (2003); From Avant-Garde to Pluralism: An On-The-Spot History (2006); Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience (2009); a second memoir, Swept Up by Art, An Art Critic in the Post-Avant-Garde Era (2015); and monographs on Alex Katz, Al Held, and Mark di Suvero (all artists whose early exhibitions took place in Tenth Street galleries), among others. He is a former president and current board member of the American Section of the International Association of Art Critics. He was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1964 and in 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Art Criticism from the International Association of Art Critics.
American artist Lisa Yuskavage's (b. 1962) highly original approach to figurative painting has challenged conventional understandings of the genre. Her simultaneously bold, eccentric, exhibitionist, and introspective characters assume dual roles of subject and object, complicating the position of viewership. At times playful and harmonious, and at other times rueful and conflicted, these characters are cast within fantastical compositions in which realistic and abstract elements coexist and color determines meaning. While the artist's painterly techniques evoke art-historical precedents, her motifs are often inspired by popular culture, creating an underlying dichotomy between high and low and, by implication, sacred and profane, harmony and dissonance. Yet her oeuvre compellingly resists categorization, insisting instead on its own kind of emotional formalism in which characters and pictorial inventions assume equal importance.
Bob Mankoff is the cartoon editor for The New Yorker. Before he succeeded Lee Lorenz as editor, Mankoff was a cartoonist for the magazine for twenty years. He founded the online Cartoon Bank, which has every cartoon since the magazine's founding. He is the author of the book The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way to Enhance Your Creativity.
Katy Siegel is the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University and contributing editor at Artforum. She is the author of "The Heroine Paint" and coauthor of Art Works.


... Guston's acerbic yet provocatively sympathetic take on Tricky Dick.--Christopher Lyon "Bookforum "