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Arrivederci, Guston

May 13, 2011
Bill Berkson (left) with Philip Guston (right) at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, in 1978. Photo: Courtesy of Bill Berkson

As an educator, to me exhibitions are like friends: we meet, exchange pleasantries, and then become better acquainted over the course of time. I imagine the same could be said about the close friendship between Philip Guston and poet Bill Berkson. They collaborated together to illustrate Berkson’s book of poems The Enigma Variations in 1975; in fact, the images behind Berkson and Guston in the above photo are the ones that appear in the book.  Bill Berkson spoke about Philip Guston’s deep admiration of Italian painter Piero Della Francesca in an evening lecture at the museum on Thursday, May 12. This, our final program for Philip Guston, Roma, was a nice way to bid goodbye to the exhibition, one that fast became a friend of mine.

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