by Steven Brown

The famous nude painter Philip Pearlstein passes away at the age of 98.

The artist Philip Pearlstein, who with his buddy Andy Warhol revolted against abstraction in the 1950s, passed away on December 17 at a hospital in Manhattan. His legacy is based on realistic, even risky paintings of naked people. He was

Betty Cuningham of the Betty Cuningham Gallery in New York verified the death. The reason wasn’t stated.

Mr. Pearlstein, a Pittsburgh native-like Warhol, studied art and design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), where he and Warhol met and were taught by instructors who brought the avant-garde of New York painting to western Pennsylvania, during and after World War II.

The Statue of Liberty, Dick Tracy

, and Superman were among the “paintings of icons” that Mr. Pearlstein created after starting with a giant dollar sign in the middle of a canvas as an illustration idea. The paintings, displayed in New York in 1952, predate the Pop Art trend by ten years; Warhol started creating dollar signs in the early 1960s.

At that point, Mr. Pearlstein had switched to directly sketching and painting human figures in his studio while they were being observed. This method, which is still employed mostly in art schools despite being almost as old as painting itself, seemed outmoded during a decade that saw the rise of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual art.

Rubens and Renoir painted their models in fleshy, pulchritudinous, and dazzling nudes, whereas Mr. Pearlstein depicts his subjects as everyday people. Their emotions and frequently sagging, awkwardly poised flesh convey the boredom of the painfully tedious modeling process. There are a few paintings of guys, but the bulk is of women.

Breasts fall victim to gravity

, stomachs display folds and wrinkles, and arms, feet, and knees take up a lot of space on the canvas, creating a dizzying impression. Renoir’s fixation on bright cotton-candy pinks appears to be contradicted by the paint itself, which has drab colors of brown and beige.

Since Mr. Pearlstein’s career largely paralleled the rise of feminism in the art world, his images may have been seen as just another example to some women.

But Mr. Pearlstein made a decision to

Throughout his career, Mr. Pearlstein maintained his commitment to painting directly from life. He also continued to use models and props from his extensive lifelong collection of decorative art from all around the world.

In 2002, he told the New York Times, “I have to accept what I have seen at some point. “If I don’t, I’ll keep rotating the image endlessly like Giacometti. Naturally, working from images would be simpler, but working from life has a different intensity and sense of urgency. You’re attempting to capture it, or something elusive that you’re not always sure of before it disappears.

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