David Kordansky Gallery is very pleased to announce a solo project by Anthony Pearson at FIAC 2013. Incorporating several new typologies, the project represents an expansion of Pearson's vocabulary, and a deepening of his ability to embody the ambient moods, both physical and philosophical, of his native Southern California. At the same time, it furthers an ongoing interest in the cross-pollination between photographic and sculptural processes, and unites seemingly divergent interests in organic form and conceptually-oriented organizational strategies.
Pearson's work takes shape in diverse categories. Among these are works the artist refers to as Tablets, bronze objects installed directly on the wall; Arrangements, which combine a bronze object on a wood pedestal with one or more unique, solarized photographs; and Plaster Positives, wall-based works that are created by pouring plaster into specially built frames. These typologies have arisen through deep-seated relationships with one another. For instance, the Plaster Positives, which enter into dialogue most readily with painting, were developed as a means to pictorialize the plaster that was being used to make sculptural forms, and introduce it into the greater vocabulary of the practice as a whole.
The latest plaster works, shown for the first time at FIAC, are intimate in scale and feature what for Pearson is a new kind of mark-making. They are scored, by hand, with tight, grid-like patterns, and are reminiscent of both sculptures and drawings. (The artist's unique Solarization photographs also come to mind.) In some cases the plaster has been tinted, resulting in slight gradations of hue that change the ways in which light and shadow play across the work.
Though it is resolutely physical, and often shows the mark of the artist's hand, Pearson's work finds its predecessors among that of artists associated with movements like Light and Space, which highlight the immaterial properties of material things. The newest bronze Tablets are prime examples of this tendency. Casts of folded and rolled forms, they vary in size between the length of a forearm and the height of the entire body, and communicate elegance or violence, and sometimes both. Yet despite the morphological differences that separate them as sculptural forms, and the seemingly monochromatic nature of bronze, the controlled variations in their patinas allow them to operate as subtle, even ephemeral essays in opticality.
The optical facets of Pearson's project are condensed, and explored more dramatically than ever before, in the new photographic works known as Gradients. Depicting a shift between bands of color so extremely gradual that it reads as a single, diffuse field, these works originate from images of light leak in the artist's camera. They collapse notions of interior and exterior space, blur luminosity and darkness, and erode boundaries between the body and its surroundings.
Light itself––as reflection, as ambient phenomenon, as illuminating energy––is their physical and conceptual source.
Anthony Pearson was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. Recent group exhibitions include second nature: abstract photography then and now, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO and Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX; and At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Pearson lives and works in Los Angeles.