Philip Pearlstein

September 15 - October 22, 2005


Press Release

Dates: September 15 – October 22, 2005

Opening Reception: September 15, 2005, 6 – 8 pm

Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

On September 15, 2005, the Betty Cuningham Gallery will open an exhibition of Philip Pearlstein’s recent paintings.  The exhibition will include approximately fifteen paintings completed by Pearlstein within the last three years, ranging in size from 24 x 36 inches to 60 x 72 inches.  The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art critic and painter, Alexi Worth.

Pearlstein has been exhibiting in New York since his first one-man show in 1955 at Tanager Gallery on East 10th Street.  He is the artist of his generation who understood, and briefly explored, the tenets of the Abstract Expressionists, but whose style and methods of expression led away from the abstract to a more concrete, initialized view of the world and the human body.

 Over the course of his career, the role of the nude, a mainstay in Pearlstein’s paintings and a primary subject of artists for centuries, has evolved.  Pearlstein, an artist fascinated with the visual experience, has taken the role of the nude in painting and shifted the focus away from the body per se.   The model resides on the canvas with such odd secular objects as a weathervane, butcher’s sign or Chinese kite, thereby providing the building blocks for the painting.  Color, composition and scale are the subjects.  Spatial tension claims the spotlight, leaving the viewer to contemplate the implied and subconsciously suggested relationships on the canvas.

Pearlstein’s work is in 63 museums collections in this country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art.  He recently showed at the Century Association, New York; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Galerie Haas, Zurich; and Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin, Germany. 

Additionally, since the mid-1950’s Pearlstein has received several awards, most recently, the National Council of Arts Administrators Visual Artist Award; The Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal, The Artists Fellowship, Inc., New York, NY; and honorary doctorate degrees from Brooklyn College, NY, Center for Creative Studies and the College of Art & Design, Detroit, MI, and New York Academy of Arts, New York, NY.   Pearlstein is currently President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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