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March 9, 2004

Renowned Realist Painter Philip Pearlstein, Leader in the Revival of Modern Figure Painting, to Kick Off New Lecture Series at Smith

Public Is Invited to March 28 Slide Lecture

Editor's note: Images of Philip Pearlstein and of several of his works are available as digital files. Contact Marti Hobbes at (413) 585-2190 or to request.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Inaugurating a new endowed lecture series at Smith College, renowned American contemporary realist painter Philip Pearlstein will present "Self-Portraits: Painting Noses or Demons" at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 28, in Wright Hall Auditorium.

The slide lecture is free and the public is welcome.

Still actively painting in a long and distinguished career, Pearlstein was a leader in the early 1960s of the revival of figure painting in America. His monumental nudes, painted directly from life, challenged the prevailing art of the Abstract Expressionists. He continues to paint the human figure, unclothed, paired with props or furniture and often shown cropped or in awkward positions. Although his intensely observed, sagging and sallow nudes have sometimes been considered shocking, New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman has described them as "graphic, but hardly erotic and strangely austere." Critic Robert Hughes, in his book "American Visions," describes Pearlstein's work as "unlike anything seen in American realism since Thomas Eakins."

Pearlstein's paintings, prints and drawings have been exhibited widely and are in the collections of many museums in this country and abroad.

A reception for the artist will take place in the atrium of the Brown Fine Arts Center immediately following the talk.

Pearlstein's lecture is the first in a new series of talks by distinguished artists and art historians. The Dulcy B. Miller Lectures in Art and Art History honor the late Dulcy Blume, a member of the Smith College Class of 1946.

In addition to the Pearlstein talk, a number of events during the weekend of March 27 to 28 will celebrate the first anniversary of the reopening of the Smith College Museum of Art. More information is available at


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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