For decades, Philip Pearlstein has been a leading voice for figurative realism. His
paintings typically call attention to the clinical atmosphere of the studio and the boredom or exhaustion of his models, only to transcend these conditions with the beauty of carefully observed flesh tones.
He emerged in the early 1960s, a difficult time for representational painters. Later the art world came to value his perseverance, crediting him (along with Alex Katz and a select few others) with having revitalized interest in the figure.
His solo exhibitions include a retrospective at the Milwaukee Art Museum (1983) and shows at the Springfield Art Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. He has been recognized with the National Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors, and has served as the President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.