Guston was interested in comic art. As a young artist, he had lessons in drawing cartoons. The comics he saw in the newspapers influenced this painting. How is this painting similar to comics? How is it different?
Guston’s earlier paintings from the 1950s were abstract. In his paintings from the 1970s he started painting recognizable objects again. Guston said, “the visible world, I think, is abstract and mysterious enough.” What do you think he meant by this? Compare Guston’s earlier painting, Native’s Return, to his later painting, Untitled. How are they different? Similar? Why do you think he decided to stop painting abstractly?
The Sunday comics that appeared in newspapers influenced Guston’s art. What were some of the popular Sunday comics in the 1930s and 1940s, when Guston was growing up? Research some of these comics on the Internet. Which ones do you think look most like Guston’s painting?
Guston liked to tell stories through his paintings. What story do you think he was trying to tell in Untitled? Write a story about what is going on in this painting.
Even though Guston’s painting Untitled is two-dimensional, he has created the illusion of three-dimensional forms. What is the difference between a shape and a form? How has Guston created the illusion of three dimensions? Draw a square, triangle, and circle. Now transform these shapes into a cube, pyramid, and sphere by adding extra sides and shading.