Philip Guston

Drawing for Conspirators
1930

Not on view

Philip Guston was just seventeen years old when he made this drawing. As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles, he had seen members of the Ku Klux Klan, and this work was probably based on that experience. From an early age, Guston was involved in left-wing politics and his sociopolitical concerns are clearly demonstrated in this boldly depicted scene. Dramatic modeling and the looming presence of the central figure convey the theme of oppression, as does the symbolic rope that hangs over blocks representing Louisiana and Mississippi. Guston’s visual analogy between the victim of a lynching and the crucified Christ can be seen at the back of the composition. The hooded figure in the foreground recurs throughout Guston’s work.

Artist
Philip Guston

Title
Drawing for Conspirators

Date
1930

Classification
Drawings

Medium
Graphite pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, and wax crayon on paper

Dimensions
Sheet: 22 11/16 × 14 9/16 in. (57.6 × 37 cm)

Accession number
82.20

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from The Hearst Corporation and The Norman and Rosita Winston Foundation, Inc.

Rights and reproductions information
© artist or artist’s estate



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