Manhattan Unfurled, by Matteo Pericoli, with an...

Editor's Choice

October 14, 2001|By Michael Pakenham

Manhattan Unfurled, by Matteo Pericoli, with an introduction by Paul Goldberger (Random House, $29.95).

There can be no more poignant time in its history to consider the appearance of New York City than the last 33 days. It will be months before Ground Zero will be entirely neatened up, and even then the pain will go on screaming out from the gaps in the skyline. Not so in this remarkable little book -- really an artwork multiple -- drawn by an illustrious Italian-born architect now living in Manhattan. Twenty-four 7" by 11" panels contain his continuous drawing of the East Side of the island. On their obverse are the 24 sections of his continuous drawing of the West Side. In a crisp, elegant introduction that is included with the foldout book, Pulitzer Prize winning art and architecture critic Goldberger insightfully calls the Manhattan skyline an "awesome chaos" -- words written before the terror attack, as, of course, were Pericoli's drawings. Each of those was done on 37 feet of scrolled drawing paper, reduced to 22 feet in this package. A lovely, touching and artful tribute to one of civilization's triumphant accomplishments.

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