While fruit is often a subject of still life paintings, these cherries are not arranged on a plate, nor do they showcase the artist's talent for verisimilitude, as is traditional in the genre. Instead, Guston used his standard palette of red, blue, dirty peach, and black and painted these twelve cherries perched on a ledge. The variety in their sizes, shapes, and positions seems to anthropomorphize them. While his abstract paintings of the 1950s earned him recognition, by the late 1960s Guston had developed a new figurative style, inspired in part by the comic books he had loved as a child, but suggesting a far darker worldview.
Gallery label from 2007.