Philip Pearlstein + Helen Frankenthaler
at Talley Dunn Gallery through December 10
by Todd Camplin

I can’t believe I was able to see two complete shows of paintings by Philip Pearlstein and woodcuts
of Helen Frankenthaler in one place, but only the Talley Dunn Gallery could deliver such an epic
duel exhibition. I felt like I was transported to the Fort Worth Modern or maybe even the MOMA in
New York City. The show was something to behold, because it was full of surprises.
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I had this romantic notion that Philip Pearlstein was an extremely meticulous photorealist. I’d
seen several books on his work, but had never experienced the work in person. Now, his work
in the 1970’s might have been photorealistic, but his current work uses more loose brush strokes
and you can really experience the paint on the surface of the canvas. I even saw a painting
of a rug overlap a person’s leg. This unexpectedly painterly style made the work a little more
informal and playful.
Philip Pearlstein (image courtesy of the artist)
Model with Dreadlocks and Whitehouse Birdhouse, 2000
Oil on canvas / 48 x 60 inches

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Philip Pearlstein (image courtesy of the artist)
Helen Frankenthaler (image courtesy of the artist) Japanese Maple, 2005

Although Pearlstein’s and Frankenthaler’s style and approach differ in such radical ways, and