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At the peak of Abstract Expressionism in 1960, Pearlstein decided to tackle the problems of realist painting and his variations on studio nudes set the standard for figurative painting in the 1970s.
Knowing that great draftsmen make great lithographers, Jack Lemon invited Pearlstein to be the first artist to work at Landfall Press in 1970.
"I said I wanted to make the camera obsolete because in my reading about early 20th-century art, I found that the most frequently used argument made in favor of abstraction was that the camera made realist painting obsolete."-Philip Pearlstein