Exasperating, yes. Exhilarating, absolutely! Of course Guston repeats himself, but he never sounds canned, and neither does he lay down the law, except to declare in response to the painter Ad Reinhardt, "The artist should not want to be right."

PHILIP GUSTON: COLLECTED WRITINGS, LECTURES, AND CONVERSATIONS | EDITED BY CLARK COOLIDGE | INTRODUCTION BY DORE ASHTON | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS | 328 PAGES | $29.95

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