Focusing on the thirty-three paintings that Philip Guston exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery in 1970, this in-depth account reconsiders the history of postwar American art and the conception of figuration in modern art history. Through a myriad of cultural touchstones, including evidence from literary and musical vogues of the period, Robert Slifkin examines the role of history as both artistic medium and creative catalyst to Guston's practice as a painter. Slifkin employs a wealth of visual examples, archival materials, and original scholarship to situate Guston's paintings within broader artistic debates of the time, using the cultural movement of "the sixties" as its orienting foreground. This historical framework provides an interface between the notions of time in art and time in the material world. Lively and edifying, Slifkin's comprehensive text productively complicates the prescribed traditions of postwar art history and, in turn, shifts our perception of Guston and his place in the domain of modern art.