Anthony Pearson

Anthony Pearson was born in 1969 in Los Angeles, a city whose unique light and space have profoundly influenced his work. His artistic practice is an exploration of the possibilities inherent in a select group of materials, including plaster, bronze, and steel. Pearson’s work encourages a concentrated mode of perception, inviting viewers to engage deeply with the visual and material qualities of his creations.

Pearson’s career began with photography, a medium that played a formative role in shaping his artistic vision. The action of a shutter capturing instances of light serves as a guiding metaphor for his approach to creating, editing, and installing his work. This foundational experience with photography has informed his subsequent explorations in sculpture and other media, resulting in a body of work that is both varied and cohesive.

Pearson’s recent focus has been on wall-based objects made using poured Hydrocal. These pieces not only highlight the sculptural properties of the material but also respond dynamically to changes in ambient light and color. This emphasis on optics and the perception of immaterial phenomena is reminiscent of the Light and Space movement, reflecting the perceptual qualities of Southern California, where Pearson continues to live and work.

Pearson has had solo exhibitions at prestigious venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis (2012) and Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis (2008). His work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including:

  • Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014)
  • second nature: Abstract Photography Then and Now, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts (2012)
  • The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado and Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, Texas (2011)

Pearson’s work is included in the permanent collections of several major institutions, such as:

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
  • Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

In 2019, Inventory Press published a comprehensive monograph dedicated to Pearson’s multifaceted work, further cementing his reputation as a significant contemporary artist.

Untitled (Flare Arrangement), 2009