new-york

Philip Pearlstein

Finch College Museum Of Art

Philip Pearlstein’s drawings have the same iconography as his paintings, Roman landscapes in the second half of the ’50s and nudes after 1960. There is a difference between them, however, which may have to do with the fact that the surfaces of drawings include areas untouched by hand whereas in paintings, as a rule, everything has been entered as a decision by the artist, the “empty” background no less than the foreground. There is a full surface in Pearlstein’s paintings that is not present in the drawings. Without the rich two-dimensionality of the painting, the drawings reveal Pearlstein as something of a Mannerist. This term has taken a beating in the last ten years: it has been applied to Stella and to Warhol, neither of whom appears to be in any relationship to the 16th century at all. Still Pearlstein’s figures can be compared to Mannerist figures. Specifically he goes in for

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