“With craftsmanship at its core, Los Angeles-based artist Anthony Pearson has created a body of work over the past decade that highlights his mastery at the handling of materials. In particular, the artist is known for his refined sculptures and reliefs that are forged using plaster, bronze, steel and clay.”Anthony Pearson creates Working Tableaus. To understand the work is a process….the viewer must sit with it…contemplate it…and engage with itPearson refuses to make artwork that is easily reproducible. Pearson is an artist whose foundations arise from an obsessive passion for the processes used in the creation of art. Pearson started out as a photographer embracing darkroom production as an artistic process but has expanded his explorations over time. He started as a portrait photographer then onto landscapes moving to processed oriented photographic experiments. The magic of the darkroom enthralled him with the photographic medium; the act of dipping a piece of film into water and exposing it to light the beauty of experimental chemical techniques“Yes, I engage this idea in photography as well. I have always been interested in the darkroom as a site of production and engagement with the work. I want to have a singular artwork that comes from a specific method and site of production, so having things made for me is increasingly less interesting”His core as a photographer born informs everything that he does in contemporary art.His artwork is an obsessive contemplation of “pure natural beauty’’Pearson works in series exploring relationships and proceses . He has shown his Tablets, solarizations, Flares, and arangements .Pearson employs his process driven methodology and meticulous craftmanship ina consistent exchange between positive and negative space. The interplay is found throughout the work on the level of a photographic negative in his sculptural casting and mold making .It forces viewer to ask what constitutes a photo and work as a sculptor“In recent years I have been increasingly drawn to the space between abstraction and representation” His Control of methods create a narrative for personal expressionHis totemic soaring quasi religious sculptures are Solemn, Determined and Intensely non referential objects. For Pearson, surfaces are his concern not the sculpture itself. They are 3 dimensional imagistic Bas Reliefs.Arrangements Tinkering with the parameters not only of photography but also of sculpture, Pearson makes bronze objects that he places on wooden plinths alongside his photographs—putting together, what he calls arrangements. Arrangements ask the Question what is an artwork at its core? They are peculiar, strange and provocative.It forces viewer to ask what constitutes a photo and a work as a sculptor.Arrangements are first and foremost understood as interrelations between each element and the structure of the whole. It needs to be viewed as gestalt.The relationship between sculpture and photo alchemy is employed ultimately to a product which cannot be predicted: organic subconscious beauty. Quiet and breathless they interact in a singular space engaging, form, negative space and natural light.
Anthony Pearson: ‘I am seeking an inventive form as opposed to a clearly conventional onePierson condenses photography down to its most minimal aspect. Pure abstractions
The artist, known for his refined sculptures and reliefs, explains why he moved from photography to sculpture, why he likes flaws and idiosyncrasy to be part of his work, and why he bans artificial light in his studio, stopping work once it gets dark
Physically making – with your hands – is critical to your practice. Do you think this is rare among artists now?
AP: I do think it has become less common in recent years, with the exception of painting. Painting is a medium that is still forged by the artist’s hand, for the most part. Sculpture less so in recent years. Fabrication has become a primary mode for contemporary artists. I am invested in the studio being the primary site of production. I find this to be the safest and most immediate way to become immersed in what I am doing. I also think this is the best way to embody a sensitivity with regards to the woI reflect this kind of drama and mannerism in my work as well. Presentation and surface is a huge part of my work. I think this kind of thing represents an impossible ideal that can embody both romance and tragedy, FLARESPierson condenses photography down to its most minimal aspect. Pure abstractions. Flares are both Minimal and Digital at the same timeThese large scale photos present a spatial abyss and a result of a “light leak” from the hole in camera shutter. The large acrylic surfaces have depth digitally isolating the” lens flares “ so that concentric circles of light fade, like diminishing halos, into smooth black fields. They could be images of the night sky with small dim moons at their center. Although they are color photos, they are insistently devoid of color all murky dark greys with only the slightest selection of a hue.