Couple in Bed, 1977
The Art Institute of Chicago
Oil on canvas
206.2 x 240.3 cm (81 1/8 x 94 5/8 in.)
Through prior bequest of Frances W. Pick, and memorial gift from her daughter, Mary P. Hines
An established painter of some of the most poetic Abstract Expressionist painting of the late 1950s, Guston gradually—and radically—abandoned abstraction in the 1960s in favor of seemingly crude, cartoonish, often unsettling images, drawn from memory. Couple in Bed considers the ongoing conflict between Guston’s enduring marriage and his all-consuming preoccupation with studio life. Tucked under the covers, the artist still wears work shoes, grasping three paintbrushes as tightly as he holds his wife.