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Philip Pearlstein on Piero della Francesca

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Philip Pearlstein reflects on his transformation from an abstract expressionist to a figurative painter, a change owed in part to the study of Piero della Francesca.

Pearlstein recalls that Piero’s work “seemed to me to provide a kind of grammar of pictorial invention, parallel to the grammatical constructions of language that adventurous poets play with; and it opened up exciting new areas of exploration for me as a painter and for a few of the students in that classroom as well. I soon realized all these different courses I was teaching had in my mind merged into one. Looking back I think that at that moment I became my own best student.”

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