Philip Pearlstein, oil on canvas, 2000

In times of pop art and abstract art, the American Philip Pearlstein maintained his urge for realism. From the 1960s onwards he focuses on depicting nudes, starting from a classical traditional view. He soon evolves into staged scenes of nude models with chosen variable attributes. He only uses visual observation and avoids any prior knowledge of material, colour or perspective. His emotionless figures, often in strange poses, are equal to their surrounding objects, making the whole scene seem like a modern still life. This artist, now almost 100 years old, proves a personality with a unique style.

‘Male and Female Models with Balloon Chair and Old African Drum’ typifies his oeuvre. His remarkable realism with reflections, shadows and truthful anatomy is always presented in a cropped composition.


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