Between 1943 and 1946 Pearlstein created almost 100 drawings, watercolors and sketches, which are shown in their entirety here, and meant to be sold as a complete group (hopefully to a major public institution). Vividly installed in tableau-like fashion, the faceted works capture various stages, ranging from basic training at Camp Blanding, to a ship convoy to Italy, to Pearlstein’s time stationed in Italy during and after fighting. They are complemented by signs and charts, which Pearlstein made in the visual-aids shop at the time. Represented in such esteemed permanent collections as of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Pearlstein’s oeuvre is well known. However, this body of work will prove a discovery to all and provide a rare glimpse into the artist’s early personal life, even to those well familiar with his work.
“G.I. Philip Pearlstein: WWII Captured on Paper” is on view through Oct. 15, Tues –Sat., 10am–6pm, at Betty Cuningham Gallery (15 Rivington St., btw. Bowery & Chrystie), in their Sidecar space next door. Call 212-242-2772 or visit bettycuninghamgallery.com.