“Philip Guston Now” will now open at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts on May 1, 2022, and run until Sept. 11, 2022. It then will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (Oct. 23, 2022, to Jan. 15, 2023) and Washington’s National Gallery of Art (Feb. 26, 2023, to Aug. 27, 2023). The Tate Modern in London will be the final stop (Oct. 3, 2023, to Feb. 4, 2024).
“Navigating the exhibition schedules of four institutions, amid a global pandemic, has been complicated, but we are glad to be able to share a new schedule for the tour of ‘Philip Guston Now’ beginning in 2022,” NGA Director Kaywin Feldman said in a statement. “This additional time will allow us to slow down, get past covid, and bring the Gallery’s community together in person for challenging conversations that will help inform how we rethink the exhibition.”
In announcing the revised schedule, the National Gallery emphasized that the show will present the artist’s career in full and include works from his 1970 Marlborough Gallery show that featured hooded, Klan-like figures.
Musa Mayer, Guston’s daughter and head of the Guston Foundation, said the decision represents real progress and that she looks forward to celebrating the retrospective when it opens.
“It is essential for the exhibition to contextualize the depth of my father’s social conscience, allowing the hooded figures and other imagery to reclaim their meaning, including but also moving beyond specific references to the Ku Klux Klan,” she said in a statement.
In a joint statement in September, the directors of the four museums said they decided to postpone the exhibition “until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston’s work can be more clearly interpreted.”
Feldman later said the decision was prompted in part by the National Gallery’s poor record of exhibitions focused on Black artists and because she believed a curator of color should be part of the team.
“I am convinced we can’t do this show without having an African American curator as part of the project,” Feldman said last month. “It’s not about the artist, it’s about us.”