Phillip Pearlstein • American B: 1924
Portrait of Richard and Gloria Miller C: 1973 • Oil on Canvas 44 1/2” x 40 1/2”
If the walls could talk in the brownstone at 323 W. 21st Street, in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, they would have quite a story to tell. There, behind bright red doors, Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein and Dorothy Cantor shared their living space with a dance studio and took their first steps toward artistic fame.
Warhol, of course, became one of the most famous artist/celebrities of his generation. Pearlstein and Cantor also became successful artists, though decidedly less well-known. Pearlstein pioneered a unique realistic style using minimal colors and interesting cropping techniques that gave his work an almost abstract feel. Later Pearlstein and Cantor married. Warhol was in the wedding. They raised three children and he became a beloved professor emeritus at Brooklyn College.
In 1963, 40 year old Richard McDermott Miller sold his family’s manufacturing business in Dover, Ohio and moved to New York City to begin his own celebrated career as a sculptor. There, the sculptor from Dover, Ohio bumped into the painters from Pittsburgh. They became friends, sharing similar artistic tastes and backgrounds. All had been childhood art prodigies, with Pearlstein winning a nationwide art contest at age 18 that put two of his teenage paintings on the pages of Life magazine. Miller studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art before putting his artistic ambitions on hold to lead the family business.
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