Born Philip Goldstein in Montreal, Guston (who changed his name in 1935) moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1919. After his father's suicide, he took refuge in drawing, creating a world that was distant from the burdens of family life. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Guston excelled in a succession of painting styles including social realism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism. Although his abstract expressionist canvases were very well received, he became disaffected with the idea that painting should be "autonomous, pure, and for itself." He wanted to make work that reflected the living, changing world. In 1967 he returned to figuration, delving into the rich life around him using a palette customarily limited to reds, pinks, grays, and turquoise. In Driver he presents the subject from an unexpected perspective, paring away extraneous detail to distill its essence.
From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Philip Guston, American, 1913-1980
  • Driver
Date 1975
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 63 1/4 × 67 1/4 inches (160.7 × 170.8 cm)
Framed: 72 1/2 × 76 1/2 inches (184.2 × 194.3 cm)
Credit Line Bequest of James Pearson Duffy
Accession Number 2010.106
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
Signed Signed, verso, upper left: PHILIP GUSTON
Signed in red, lower right: Philip Guston
Marks White sticker, verso, left midline horizontal stretcher bar: DAVID MCKEE INC. | 140 East 63 STREET NEW YORK, N.Y. 10023 | Philip GUSTON | Driver 1975 | oil on canvas | 63 1/4 X 67 1/4 inches | C527
Yellow sticker, verso, left midline horizontal stretcher bar: OLLENDORFF FINE ARTS | FINE ART PACKERS AND SUPPLIERS | NEW YORK AND SAN FRANSCISCO | 4918 1
White sticker, verso, right midline horizontal stretcher bar: steven sloman G431 | fine arts photography
Inscriptions Inscribed, titled, dated, verso, upper left: PHILIP GUSTON | "DRIVER" 1975 | OIL- 63 1/4" X 67 1/4 "
The artist;
(1976, David McKee Gallery, New York, New York, USA);
April 22, 1976, purchase by James Pearson Duffy;
2010-present, bequest to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Rosenthal, Mark. "Jim Duffy’s Hybrid Aesthetic." Bulletin of the DIA 85, no. 1/4 (2011): cover, 4, 9, fig. 1 (color ill.).

Bulletin of the DIA 89, no. 1/4 (2015): 65 (ill.).