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"The Dispassionate Body:
Tweed Museum of Art
Philip Pearlstein Lecture, March 23, 2006
Edward Lucie-Smith, British Art Critic
For over forty years, Philip Pearlstein has produced "straight" studio paintings of figures with objects and props, each one a perceptually complex still life of flesh, pattern, surface, and texture. This exhibition focuses on his larger-scale works of the past 20 years, and includes a selection of the objects Pearlstein collects and paints: model toys, vintage store signs, and other objects reflecting the history of popular culture. Essays by Edward Lucie-Smith, model/artist Desiree Alvarez, and interviews with a host of historians, critics and artists (Chuck Close, Linda Nochlin, Irving Sandler and Sister Wendy, to name a few) are included in the catalogue and exhibition.
Philip Pearlstein enjoys an international reputation as a leading figurative painter. His academic career stretches from attending Saturday art classes to earned degrees from the Carnegie Institute in both studio and art history. Pearlstein was a contemporary of Andy Warhol and at different times they shared a Pennsylvania barn-studio and a residence in New York City.
Like Warhol, he began his professional career as a graphic artist before joining the faculty at Pratt Institute in New York, and subsequently the faculty at Brooklyn College, serving as a distinguished professor until his retirement in 1988.
Along with his painting practice, Pearlstein cultivated an interest in printmaking- particularly silkscreen and lithography. In that capacity, he has worked with most of the major ateliers currently producing limited edition fine art prints: Landfall Press, Graphicstudio, Tamarind Institute, Pyramid Arts and others. In 1954, Pearlstein's work received particular acclaim from noted critic and theoretician, Clement Greenberg and featured in his Emerging Talent exhibition at the Kootz Gallery in New York. Since then, Pearlstein has become one of the most widely recognized visual artists of our time. His work is reproduced in scores of publications and held in major collections around the world.
Note: A documentary film on Pearlstein's life and art practice is currently being produced by UMD Art and Design faculty members Jen Dietrich and Sarah Bauer. A screening will be held at 6:30 p.m. on October 3, 2006.
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