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Philip Pearlstein

Nudes and Other Landscapes

February 27 – August 7, 2020

Image of Positano #1
Image of Nudes, Popeye and Peruvian Pot
Image of Temple of Hatsheput
Image of Nude with Peacock Kimono
Image of Two Models with Carousel Giraffe and Le Corbusier Chair
Image of Imperial Palace #4

Press Release

Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to open Nudes and Other Landscapes which includes a selection of paintings, watercolors and prints created between 1954 and 2020. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Thursday, February 27th, from 6-8 PM.


Philip Pearlstein is synonomous with figure painting - particularly nude figures, often surrounded by objects from Pearlstein’s vast collection of art and Americana that is housed within the artist’s New York City Studio. However as much as he is a voracious collector, he is also an avid traveler. Throughout his nearly 75 year career, Pearlstein has also painted many famous landscapes from direct observation. Over the years these landscapes have been paid much less attention by critics, even though Pearlstein approaches these works in the very same way he approaches his acclaimed figures. Pearlstein has explained: “I see the figure as landscape; the landscape as figure – they’re the same!” In this exhibition, figures and landscapes are juxtaposed, underscoring Pearlstein’s commitment to painting exactly what is in front of him, precisely what his eyes see, without an ounce of narrative or idealization. 

Philip Pearlstein, born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1924, received a BFA from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949 and an MA from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1955. He had his first solo show at Tanager Gallery in 1955. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1968; a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, 1969; election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1982 for which he served as President from 2003 – 2006; and recently the Icon Award in the Arts from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. Pearlstein has received Honorary Doctorates from: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Brooklyn College, Brooklyn; College of Art & Design, Detroit; New York Academy of Arts, New York; and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT.


Pearlstein’s work is in many museum collections, most notably: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


The current exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue that includes Pearsltein’s antecdotes about the odd situations in which he found himself during his travels.