Philip Guston


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Status, estimate and price of the artist Philip Guston

Price of a painting: 4,500 – 17,000,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 2,700 – 2,200,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 140 – 10,500 €.

If you would like to have a Philip Guston work appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

An artist from an early age

Philip Guston was an American painter born on June 27, 1913 in Montreal who died on June 7, 1980 in Woodstock, New York. He was associated with the New York School and the Abstract Expressionist movement to which Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning belonged.

Philip Guston was 6 years old in 1919 when his family left Montreal for California. At this time, the young man dreamed of becoming a satirical cartoonist. Born Phillip Goldstein, he changed his name to Philip Guston. In 1927 he enrolled at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and met Jackson Pollock, also a student there. He was introduced to modern art, the art of the Native Americans of the North. He discovered Mexican muralist paintings in 1932 when David Alfaro Siquieros and José Clemente Orozco exhibited in Los Angeles. His early works deal with social subjects such as work and the segregation of blacks. He produced several murals in Mexico and then in the United States from 1934 to 1942 and received commissions from the Work Progress Administration. Philip Guston left Los Angeles for New York where he joined Jackson Pollock. There he met artists such as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and David Smith. They formed what would become known as the New York School and Philip Guston oriented his work towards the abstract from 1938 onwards. He married his wife, Musa McKim.

Change of artistic movement

In 1970, he left abstract art to return to his youthful passions – social themes. He painted everyday objects (shoes, glasses, books), in a style close to comics, populated by the threatening figure of the Klansman (member of the KKK). His wife’s illness and old age inspired many paintings and critics reproached him for having stopped modernism. One article after the other burned down and only a few close relatives, including de Kooning, supported his development. These late works were recognised after his death and were widely shown in collections and exhibitions. With his figurative paintings he launched Neo-Impressionism, his greatest contribution to art history. He then moved to Woodstock and befriended the writer Philip Roth. He was twice awarded the American Prix de Rome, in 1949 and 1971, and was a Guggenheim Scholar. He died of a heart attack at the age of 66. The major exhibition devoted to New York Abstract Expressionism by WOAgri in New York in 2010-2011 closes with a large figurative painting by Philip Guston. Numerous retrospectives have been organized at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Royal Academy in London and the SFMOMA in San Francisco. His work can be found in museums in New York, London and Chicago.

Christie’s sold a painting by Philip Guston Alchemist, dated 1960, for $26 million in 2013.

Recognising Philip Guston’s signature

Like many artists, Philip Guston did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

Expertise signature Philip Guston

Appraise and sell a painting by Philip Guston

If you own a Philip Guston painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.