Picabia Inside Out – Philip Pearlstein

2 min read  ·  24 Oct 2023

Available from HENI Publishing, Picabia Inside Out.

In the 1950s, American painter Philip Pearlstein completed his MA thesis, ‘The Paintings of Francis Picabia 1908–1930’. When his research coincided with Picabia’s death in 1953, Pearlstein became the authority on the work of Picabia and his influence in European modernism that set the stage for modern art in America. Of course, it is impossible to discuss Picabia without also considering the work of Marcel Duchamp.

At different intervals in his career, Pearlstein wrote three subsequent essays on Picabia for major arts journals: ‘The Symbolic Language of Francis Picabia’ for ARTS magazine, 1956; ‘Hello & Goodbye, Francis Picabia’ for ARTnews, 1970, and ‘When the Dada Daddies Got Real; Or, How I Turned Picabia Inside Out’ for Brooklyn Rail, 2017. Pearlstein’s articles present a fascinating comparison between Picabia, Duchamp and Pearlstein himself.

Philip Pearlstein (1924–2022) was an American painter best known for modernist realism nudes. Cited by critics as the preeminent figure painter of the 1960s to 2000s, he led a revival in Realist art. Pearlstein has written many articles for major art journals and his contribution to contemporary art is acknowledged by his many awards and honours. His paintings are held in collections of over 70 public art museums including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MoMA, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Picabia Inside Out brings together Pearlstein’s articles in full, published in an illustrated paperback book with a facsimile of the 1955 MA thesis presented as an historical document showing all the nuances of his typewriter. A foreword by Robert Storr highlights the broader art historical context and Pearlstein’s importance as a precursor to what became known as postmodernism.

HENI Publishing

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