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Past Exhibition Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York

May 30–September 6, 2015


The Andy Warhol Museum presents Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York, the first exhibition to explore the work of Philip Pearlstein, Andy Warhol, and Dorothy Cantor as students at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University), and as young artists breaking into the New York Art World in the early 1950s.

This early period was one of close association between Warhol and Pearlstein as they were fellow students, roommates in New York, and enthusiastic artists working in commercial illustration. Cantor, one year behind them in school, was equally pursuing her work, but left her practice to start a family with Pearlstein.

This exhibition explores the path that all three artists took from their early Pittsburgh roots to an ambitious start in New York. While they may have gone in different directions, their time together reveals their determination to break into the New York Art World. The exhibition features the artists’ assignments from Carnegie Tech, as well as explores Pearlstein and Warhol’s early commercial design work in New York. More than 50 drawings and paintings by Pearlstein and Cantor make their museum debut, supported by paintings and period photographs on loan and from The Warhol’s collection.

As a coda to this narrative, the exhibition includes Pearlstein’s most recent paintings, a series of three canvases completed in early 2015: nude female figures are animated with vibrant animal masks as they lounge and recline over Navaho rugs. This unprecedented treatment of the figure presents a new departure for Pearlstein’s practice—one that he has crafted for more than 50 years.

Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York is co-curated by Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s assistant curator of art, and Matt Wrbican, The Warhol’s chief archivist.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Fine Foundation, Henry and Gilda Buchbiner Family, and Henry Justin.