Spotlight: Philip Pearlstein (American, b. 1924), Girl on Orange and Black Mexican Rug, 1973

Philip Pearlstein (American, b. 1924), Girl on Orange and Black Mexican Rug, 1973. Color lithograph (Edition: 38/100), 32 x 40 inches, Franco Collection, Auburn University at Montgomery.

Catalogue entry by Rowena Turner

The succeeding work of art was composed by Philip Pearlstein. Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and is still alive today residing in New York. His art career began when he won both the 1st and 3rd prizes in the 14th National High School Art Contest in the 1940s. After high school, he sought higher education at Carnegie Institute of Technology receiving his BFA in 1949. Post graduation, he sought a master’s at New York Institute and became a graphic designer for Life Magazine. 

This work was done on colored lithograph, and is 32 x 40 inches in size. Completed in 1973, the work features a nude woman seated on top of an orangey-reddish and black Mexican rug. Similar to other representations of the female nude by Pearlstein, he incorporates a modernist style. In such works, he creates truly realist nude paintings using careful detail.  The warm hues of the rug enhance the nude woman’s pale, peachy skin and similarly-colored wall. Additionally, Pearlstein is incorporating an aspect of another country into the mainstream of American Art. As stated in the Print Collector’s Newsletter, “Girl and striped rug are integrated by diagonal composition and the fusion of the paper.”

Sources:

The Print Collector’s Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 6 (January-February 1974), pp. 136, 141-142.

“Philip Pearlstein,” https://philippearlstein.com/about/bio/

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