Anthony Pearson (b. 1969, Los Angeles) occupies a quietly antithetical position in a contemporary cultural landscape characterized by visual noise and short attention spans. An exploration of the possibilities inherent to a small group of materials (plaster, bronze, and steel among them), his work fosters concentrated modes of perception, and has taken shape according to a number of different typologies over the course of his career. Photography played a formative role at the beginning of his project, and the action of a shutter capturing serial instances of light continues to be a guiding metaphor for the way he produces, edits, and installs his work. Recent wall-based objects made using poured Hydrocal focus not only on the sculptural properties of this material, but the ways in which it responds to ambient shifts in luminosity and color. This emphasis on optics and the seeing of immaterial phenomena recalls the ethos of the Light and Space movement; the practice as a whole embodies and reflects the perceptual qualities of the artist’s native Southern California.
Anthony Pearson has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2012) and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2008). Institutional group exhibitions include 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); and The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado and Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, Texas (2011). Pearson’s work is in the permanent collections of a number of museums; among them are the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. In 2019, a comprehensive monograph dedicated to Pearson’s multifaceted work was published by Inventory Press. Pearson lives and works in Los Angeles.