The changing of dates of a four-city survey, purportedly due to the artist’s Ku Klux Klan motifs, caused uproar in 2020. Now, after a curatorial rethink, the first exhibition is set to open.
One of the biggest controversies in the art world in 2020—a year not devoid of drama—was the surprise postponement of a sweeping survey of the Canadian-American artist Philip Guston (1913-80), which was set to tour four major museums in the US and UK.
Philip Guston Now was originally due to open in June 2020 at Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art, before travelling to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, London’s Tate Modern and finally the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in autumn 2021. After understandably announcing an eight-month Covid-related delay that summer, the four museums proceeded to baffle—and even outrage—a large swath of the art establishment by announcing that they were holding off on the opening until 2024.
A few months after announcing their decision, the museums added self-injury to the perceived insult of the art world by rescheduling the rescheduling, moving the dates of the show again, this time to start in 2022. That show—with the same title and largely similar checklists, but with a bulwark of new curatorial and extra-curatorial input—will begin its four-venue tour on 1 May, with the original final stop in Boston recast as the first...