Manhattan Unfurled

Manhattan Unfurled

by Matteo Pericoli Introduction by Paul Goldberger
Random House, October 16th, 2009

Matteo Pericoli trained as an architect in Milan and then came to work in New York in 1995. His arrival preceded by just a few days the arrival of the biggest snowstorm of the decade, and the sense of the city in its wake–especially its silence–remained in his mind. He experienced a similar feeling taking photographs of Riverside Drive from the Circle Line ferry, and decided to transpose them into a line drawing. It was then that he felt compelled to draw the whole of New York’s shoreline profile–from Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and New Jersey (which he reached by motorcycle) — turning it into two extraordinary, thirty-seven foot long pen-and-ink drawings of Manhattan’s skyline.

Paul Goldberger saw the drawings and wrote about it in “Talk of the Town” in The New Yorker, which led Random House to invite Pericoli to turn the drawings into this book, in which the drawings fold out, accordion-style, with the West on one side and the East on the other, to which Paul Goldberger contributed an essay entitled “Delicacy and Grandeur.” In the essay, he calls Matteo Pericoli’s remarkable drawings “serene, ordered and modest….In this book, Pericoli has given us the Manhattan skyline in all its awesome chaos, but he has rendered it readable and manageable at no cost to its awe, or to its chaos.”

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