Nudes by Alan Pearson


Alan Pearson

10 May to 05 June 2022

“Figurative work symbolizes my sense of the human condition; [the] human energy. We answer for what we are as energy”.1

Sanderson are pleased to present Nudes: an exhibition of works by Alan Pearson that focus on the human form and the nude as subject. The show will feature a range of paintings and works on paper, some of which have never been exhibited before in Aotearoa or internationally.

In the 1950’s Pearson studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts where the syllabus included drawing and painting from a life model. Pearson followed this traditional and classical discipline throughout his artistic career, meanwhile developing his own individual expressionist style as an abstract, figurative painter.

Artworks in the exhibition will include The Dancer, a nude work on paper, Boboli Gardens; and the last semi-abstract painting Pearson made of Annique, which embodies memories of Botticelli’s painting of The Three Graces – a painting that Pearson encountered in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 1976. Two paintings of Annique will be on display for the first time in the exhibition.

As a portraitist Pearson exhibits a probing, analytical quality that also features in his work with life models. Each work in this show is different from any other. They all reveal Pearson’s understanding of human psychology; the dichotomies of mood, character and physical form, and his understanding of his models as energies in existence.

“The subject matter suits me; it’s more poetic; it’s the dance. I see great grace in the figure and its place as an energy in existence”.2 

A full essay by Pearson’s wife and art historian Alison Pearson will accompany the exhibition.

1 & 2 Alan Pearson, Figurework: The nude and life modelling in New Zealand art by Sandra Chesterman, Otago University Press, 2002

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