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Manhattan Unfurled Hardcover – October 16, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Manhattan Unfurled, architect Matteo Pericoli turns his affection for the city into two continuous and continuously enchanting pen-and-ink drawings of the skyline. This unusual book comes in a linen slipcase and opens accordion-fashion into a 22-foot-long panorama, the east on one side, west on the other. As critic Paul Goldberger writes in the accompanying booklet, "Pericoli has given us the Manhattan skyline in all its awesome chaos, but he has rendered it readable and manageable."

From the Inside Flap

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 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 photograph the whole of New York?s shoreline profile?from Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and New Jersey (which he reached by motorcycle) ? and make two continuous and continuously enchanting pen-and-ink drawing of Manhattan?s skyline.

Manhattan Unfurled is published in an elegant slipcase, and the drawings fold out, accordion-style, with the West on one side and the East on the other. An introduction by distinguished New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger, who first wrote bout Matteo?s project in The New Yorker?s ?Talk of the Town,? will accompany the drawing in a separate pamphlet. This book is both a wonderful New York City memento, perfect for gift giving, and an entirely unique work of art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; Slp edition (October 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375504915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375504914
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Manhattan Unfurled" is a beautiful and unique look at the island of Manhattan. Deceptively simple in appearance, one is quite amazed as the Manhattan skyline truly unfurls in two continuous pen-and-ink drawings stretching 22 feet each! If you do not have the room to fully open it up, you can flip 24 accordion-style pages. Work your way up and down Manhattan's East and West sides, from small collections of apartment buildings to dense clusters of skyscrapers. It took Matteo Pericoli, an Italian-born architect and illustrator, two-and-a-half years to create this incredible work of art. Also included in a quite nice heavy cardboard slipcase is an essay by Paul Goldberger (an architecture critic for The New Yorker) and a handy guide pointing out famous (and not so famous) landmarks for those who may not be intimately familiar with one of the world's great skylines.
Although published in October 2001, the book of course features Pericoli's rendition of the World Trade Center. While it is bittersweet and startling to see the towers even today, "Manhattan Unfurled" ultimately becomes (albeit unintentionally) a wonderful and loving tribute to the skyline that many of us will never forget. Amid all the discussion of the removal of the WTC towers from movies and television, some have said in doing so is like removing a grandparent from a family photo. Just because they are gone, does not mean we should forget or tuck them away. Pericoli's work will certainly be a treasure to look back on for many years to come.
A great gift for your favorite New Yorker, art lover, artist or architect in your life -- even if that happens to be you!
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Format: Hardcover
At this time, I find no better way to honor the great NYC than Matteo Pericoli's "Manhattan Unfurled." The fold-out pages (22 feet in length!) explicitly, accurately, beautifully, and lovingly picture the unspeakably west and east shorelines of Manhattan--including the to-be-forever missed "Twin Towers." While viewing the drawn shoreline views, including renderings of the burrough's historically important bridges, I remember fondly those several times, as a fomer resident of NYC in the early 70's, riding on the slow and lumbering Circle Line Cruise and enjoying the splendor of the island's magnificent architecture. This book, so ingeniously created, should be in every library, and would be just the perfect book to be presented to the individual who dare asks, "Why would anyone want to live in New York City?". Thank you, Matteo Pericoli, for offering to the reading public one of the finest and perfectly conceived books in many a year. You are to be commended, and lauded for allowing many the opportunity to enjoy a unique view of such a beloved city as NYC. My only personal disappointment is that I will never have the opportunity for the author/artist to sign my prized copy!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a native New Yorker who has been on the Circle Line tour around Manhattan TEN times, this book at first brings back memories of those tours. However, upon closer examination of the line-drawn buildings, I am reminded of my childhood playing around Riverside Drive (Grant's Tomb, Riverside Church), my adulthood playground Wall Street (The World Trade Center, Pier 17), and my old neighborhoods (Harlem and Tribeca). It astounded me how much the simplicity of black and white line drawings brought to color my New York City life.
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By loonkar on October 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It serves as a great memorial to the New York skyline that we all loved so much.
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By A Customer on October 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Manhattan Unfurled" presents a pen-and-ink line drawing of the island's amazing skyline, done before the September 11th tragedy and therefore all the more affecting in the magnificent exclamation marks of grandeur provided by the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. To open this book, page by page or at its full 22-foot length, is to see the improvisational, jazz-like rhythm of the city's architecture as viewed from its rivers and opposite shores, with small riffs where the island's profile is low (at the northern tip and along parts of the lower West Side and opper East Side)and symphonic climaxes in Midtown and in the financial district. This is clearly a labor of love for this young Italian-born architect--the detail of the buildings is fine and exact, the waves of the water mythical, fabulous, the ad-hoc nature of the city's real-estate development unified by a comprehending sensibility. I guarantee you that you've never seen anything like it. And now, more than ever, it is a tribute to the tough, whimsical grandeur of an island rocked by tragedy but ultimately indomitable.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book so that my children could one day see the Manhattan skyline as I fell in love with it. It's fun to note the small details in the drawings--I think I notice something new each time I open it up.
Given the excellent presentation with the slipcase, etc., this book is an awesome gift for anyone who loves NYC. The artwork is solid, but not too formal, giving just the right feeling to the buildings. This book would also be a fun springboard for children to use to draw panoramic skylines of their own home towns.
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By A Customer on October 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
These drawings, aside from being an incredible feat, are absolutely beautiful. Truly a first. What makes these two very long freehand drawings so special is that each part of the city and each building is represented with equal importance. The Empire State Building, Chelsea Piers, Harlem, Riverside Park, the bridges, etc. are all there. It's not the Manhattan that tourists come to see... but they should! The buildings seem to actually vibrate with their own energy and individual personalities. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers are also present as the drawings were made before September 11th's tragic attack. I can't help but feel that this book will also serve as a very important record of New York's famous and breathtakingly beautiful skyline - memorializing it forever.
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