Recently I was contacted by John Stoehr, the new editor at the New Haven Advocate, one of Connecticut's alt weekies, to write about Connecticut arts. My first article, online this week, is about the Philip Pearlstein exhibition at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art. Here's an excerpt.
"The Lyme Academy College of Fine Art is unabashedly among the most conservative art schools in the country. Unlike other schools where artists crank out disembodied conceptual projects, videos, and installations that are fashionable today, Lyme Academy College focuses on rigorous mastery of traditional drawing, painting, and sculpture, and on exhaustive perceptual study. So at first glance, the current exhibition of Philip Pearlstein's figurative work from 1990-2007 in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery seems perfectly at home. But deeper reflection unearths a distinct incongruence between Pearlstein and the college's chosen approach....
"Distinct from the students at the Lyme Academy College, whose training is solidly in the classical European tradition, Pearlstein's work sprang from his commercial art training at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now part of Carnegie Mellon University, in 1940s Pittsburgh. According to a 2005 interview in The Brooklyn Rail, after a year there, Pearlstein was conscripted by the Army, where he worked as a draftsman making charts, weapons diagrams and other training materials. After the war, stationed in Italy, he was put to work painting road signs. In 1946, he returned to Pittsburgh and resumed his studies at Carnegie, where he met a classmate then known as Andy Warhola. In 1949, they moved to New York City to pursue careers in commercial art...." Read more.
"Philip Pearlstein: Recent Work," Chauncey Stillman Gallery, Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, Old Lyme, CT. Through November 24.