"Two artists always fascinate me - Piero della Francesca and Rembrandt. I am fixed on these two and their insoluble opposition. Piero is the ideal painter: he pursued abstraction, some kind of fanastic, metaphysical, perfect organism. In Rembrandt the plane of art is removed. It is not a painting, but a real person - a substitute, a golem. He is really the only painter in the world!"
Interesting take on these two painters. I am not sure exactly what he means by saying that Piero is 'an ideal painter'. And regarding Rembrandt in saying 'the plane of art is removed' again, I am not sure what he is getting at. 'A golem', I had to look up, to be honest.
The word golem occurs once in the Bible in Psalms 139:16, which uses the word גלמי (galmi; my golem), meaning "my unshaped form", connoting the unfinished human being before God’s eyes. The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person: "Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, and seven in a learned one," (שבעה דברים בגולם) (Pirkei Avot 5:6 in the Hebrew text; English translations vary). In Modern Hebrew, golem is used to mean "dumb" or "helpless". Similarly, it is often used today as ametaphor for a brainless lunk or entity who serves man under controlled conditions but is hostile to him under others."Golem" passed into Yiddish as goylem to mean someone who is clumsy or slow.
So, what does Guston mean to say?