Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

View over Soho, Lower Manhattan

Although best known for his nudes in studio interiors, Pearlstein began a series of large-scale landscapes in 1974 during a visit to the Canyon de Chelly. While he envisioned this body of work as a meditation on ruins, it included this contemporary view of Manhattan. Pearlstein explained that it was inspired by Joseph Pennell’s sepia-colored WWI poster showing an apocalyptic bombing of New York City. To produce his image, Pearlstein taped a grid on the window of his friends’ Soho apartment and spent every Sunday for several months painstakingly recording the vista. The scene—which he described as a “pre-ruin”—is eerily prophetic with the shadowy World Trade Center towers visible in the background.

Philip Pearlstein
American, born 1924
View over Soho, Lower Manhattan
Aquatint and etching in brown ink on paper
Image/sheet: 30 3/8 x 40 ¾ in. (77.1 x 103.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art 82.21

Large image not available.