Philip Pearlstein: Recent Paintings
Helen Frankenthaler: Woodcuts
Talley Dunn Gallery
October 29 through December 10, 2011
Talley Dunn Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions by iconic artists who have re-defined twentieth century painting, Philip Pearlstein and Helen Frankenthaler. Both shows will be on view October 29th through December 10th and will open with an evening reception on Saturday, October 29th from 6 to 8 p.m.
Revered as a skilled painter of nudes since the early 1960s, Philip Pearlstein reclaimed the figure with his own personal style inspired by a realistic approach to his subject matter – quite different from the prevailing abstract expressionism of the time. Unlike the nudes of the Renaissance and later centuries, Pearlstein’s subjects present straightforward, unidealized nudes without reference to mythology or allegory. The artist’s nudes are painted directly from the live model and feature with astonishing detail the patterned rugs and shiny surfaces of the objects that he poses with his subjects to form angular, moving compositions.
Pearlstein poses the human body to create an interesting range of compositions, as though body were not merely flesh, but basic form to be studied and recorded. In Model with Chrome Chair and Dotted Rug, the artist arranges the model relaxed back into a metal chair draped with a native American blanket, its patterned folds spilling over and onto the floor. The decorative pattern of the rug reflects into the chrome surface of the chair, bending the likeness and repeating its dots around the form of the model’s body.
Unlike many of the compositions found in his earlier works, Pearlstein’s recent paintings feature the human form with little or no cropping of the models’ feet or heads, allowing the viewer to glimpse them in a quiet repose or dreamy state. Model with Dreadlocks and Whitehouse Birdhouse from 2000, presents the model relaxing her head and supporting hand upon a nearby stool as her right arm drapes over a meticulously rendered, small White House.
Philip Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh in 1924 and studied with classmate Andy Warhol at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellow University). After graduation, the two artists moved to New York City and shared an apartment for a brief time before Pearlstein attended New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and received his Master of Arts degree in 1955. Since that time, Pearlstein has been featured in more than 130 one-person shows, including exhibitions at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Montclair Art Museum. Pearlstein’s art can be found in museum collections around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.
Like her contemporary Pearlstein, Helen Frankenthaler also re-defined the history of post-war American painting in her own way – with a radical treatment of the canvas. By pouring pigment directly onto large-scale, unprimed canvases and avoiding the gestural brushstrokes of the abstract expressionist painters, Frankenthaler achieved a transparency of color that has inspired subsequent generations of artists, including Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis.
Frankenthaler was included in an important exhibition curated by Clement Greenberg in 1964 called Post-Painterly Abstraction that defined a newer generation of abstract painting now known Color Field. Although abstract in form, the titles of Frankenthaler’s paintings suggests a representation of the natural world, and the artist’s use of color also evokes the spirit of these forms.
In printmaking, Frankenthaler also brought an innovative approach to the creation of her woodcuts and lithographs. Having made her first lithograph in 1961, the artist quickly moved onto other techniques and soon began working on large-scale woodcuts with a complex application of the many blocks required to make the multi-colored prints.
With her more recent woodcuts, Frankenthaler has utilized the Ukiyo-e style, a genre of Japanese woodblock prints first created in the 17th century that feature “pictures of the floating world,” a fleeting world of sensual and natural pleasures separate from the world of the everyday. With the Ukiyo-e style, scenes of beautiful landscapes and the world of the geisha and kabuki are commonly featured.
Geisha, Japanese Maple, and Snow Pines all employ a color palette and evanescent quality that evoke the graceful sense of their subjects. Using a twenty-three or sixteen color woodcut process with more than eight printing blocks, the prints achieve a depth and trueness of color that is rarely achieved with this process.
Helen Frankenthaler was born in New York City in 1928, and she earned her degree at Bennington College in Vermont in 1949 and later studied with Rufino Tamayo. Her work has been the subject of several retrospective exhibitions, including a 1989 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her work has been exhibited worldwide since the 1950s with more than 150 solo exhibitions. Frankenthaler’s artwork can be found in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Dallas Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Ikawki City Art Museum, Japan, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Tate Museum, London. The recipient of more than twenty prestigious awards, Frankenthaler was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2001.
Talley Dunn Gallery
Talley Dunn Gallery is located at 5020 Tracy Street, Dallas, Texas, 75205, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.