Philip Guston’s “Don’ts”

Don’t paint to prove an idea.

Don’t paint prove what’s right.

Don’t paint to be loved.

Don’t decorate rectangles.

Don’t accept notions, myths, shibboleths. Don’t accept. Question. Everything.

I don’t want to feel caught by my own ideas.

I don’t want to paint art.

(They call it art afterwards, you know.)

I don’t paint stripes. But I don’t think shoes are better than stripes.

In my experience a painting is not made with colors and paint at all.

I don’t know what a painting is.

Selected quotations from: Philip Guston, Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations, Ed. Clark Coolidge (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011).

Philip Guston, Talking, 1979, oil on canvas, MoMA

Philip Guston, Talking, 1979, oil on canvas, MoMA


One comment

  1. My favorite painter, a nice collection of his thoughts here

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