27 April to 16 May 2010
Alan Pearson’s upcoming exhibition Con Brio represents a series of work the artist has painted in the last two years. While works in the show have their genesis in the world of existence, typically they also embody abstract concepts like the metaphysical, the psychic and the psychological.
Life in its vast complexity has long been of conceptual interest to the artist, along with the idea that we are in a symbiotic relationship with the land and our immediate surroundings and circumstances. Visual and experiential impressions impact on us but equally our impression of the land and surroundings is constantly transformed by dominant emotional states brought on by the exigencies of negotiating the world we live in. Pearson views the many facets of existence as a complex dance in which experiences, emotional states and consciousness are abstracted and are made evident in the work.
The nature of living is about constant transformation, movement, change, dynamics and rhythms, be they cyclical, physical or psychological. Thus, while the visible world might be the starting point for Pearson, it is not merely the point and is not the end point. Life is a full scale drama and for him as an Expressionist painter, it is as much about the interplay between visible and known forms, such as man and landscape, and abstract concepts. In the process Pearson aims to show the interplay between the physical and the spiritual.
What interests the artist is physic drama. Pearson’s work describes this state as a dance between the spirit, its relationship to the physical world it responds to and the body it is encased in. Pearson’s work is often populated with sprite or ghost-like beings, simulacrum, that seem to flit in and out of depth and space.
There are strong parallels between Pearson’s work and music. Indeed, speaking to the artist himself is not unlike observing a complex musical score unfolding, it is thus easy to see the man himself sprite-like, frolicking and cavorting across his surfaces bringing the full gamut of life’s experiences; beauty and ugliness; hope and despair; past and present; the known and the unknown.
The painted surface can be read as a literal evocation of music, dance and rhythm in the way paint is applied in bold over-lapping strokes, sometimes grid-like and sometimes free and expressive but always with an underlying sense of tempo. Pearson creates symphonies of sound, movement and energy. Similarly, colour assumes both a physical and metaphysical role; thrown around, lingering in deep rich solid swathes or wafting transient-like into space. Like music Pearson’s forms retain shape for an instant, but are under a state of perpetual transformation. In this way the expressionist painter leaves and conjures traces of meaning, in a sequence of bravuristic colours, moves and impressions.
The poet in the painter is seen in Pearson’s great ability to compact ideas and concepts – this means that having painted from life for over forty years, he is equally adept at conveying the immaterial and insubstantial – these works are mana from heaven – a rich repository of food for the mind and the soul.
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