John Pearson: Intuitive Structures
For Release: Sep. 10, 2014
FOR RELEASE: September 10, 2014
John Pearson: Intuitive Structures
On View September 20, 2014 – February 8, 2015
Akron, Ohio, September 10, 2014 – A key figure in the arts of Northeast Ohio and beyond, John
Pearson experiments with geometric forms and unmodulated color in an abstract style he has been
developing for over five decades.
Pearson’s working method is marked by the constant evolution of ideas. In a variety of media including
painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and computer-based art, he has produced many distinct bodies
of work that explore relationships between shape, color, line and form. “I’m overly inventive; I don’t want
to keep doing the same thing,” he explains. Within the variation, however, there is also continuity. Series
often grow out of one another and frequently draw from Pearson’s earlier explorations. Intuitive Structures
presents examples of recent painting alongside selections from a handful of Pearson’s earlier series,
suggesting the variety of foundational concepts that inform his current
Along with artists Julian Stanczak, Edwin Mieczowkski and others, Pearson was central to the flourishing of geometric abstraction in Cleveland from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. He received the Cleveland Arts Prize in Visual Art in 1975, when he was becoming known for the colorful drawings, prints and paintings he composed using mathematically-derived systems. His Mondrian Linear Series was created using one such systematic approach in homage to Piet Mondrian, one of Pearson’s earliest and most enduring influences.
Over the decades, Pearson has experimented with a variety of media and worked in formats ranging from monumental to miniscule. Constantly investigating new ideas, he has produced many distinct bodies of work
that explore relationships between shape, color, line and form within the parameters of hard-edged abstraction.
Pearson’s most recent paintings feature unusual color combinations, which he selects intuitively to create pleasurable aesthetic experiences infused with visual tension. These large-scale works do not attempt to trick the eye through optical illusion, but rather present shapes that relate to one another on the canvas’s two-dimensional surface. Elements of Pearson’s compositions, such as the brightly colored circles and arcing bands of green, grey and sienna in Untitled: RM 2D13 D, echo natural forms and movement. His abstract explorations of color are sourced in his interest in spirituality and the underlying structure of the way we experience the natural world.
Intuitive Structures coincides with Pearson’s retirement from a forty-two year teaching career at Oberlin College, where he has influenced generations of developing artists. His explorations in geometric
abstraction are housed in private and public collections throughout Northeast Ohio and across the nation.
Pearson continues to live and work in Oberlin, Ohio.
This exhibition is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by gifts from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, the John P. Murphy Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.
ART TALK - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014
ARTIST’S TALK • 6:15 pm
RECEPTION • 6 – 8 pm
John Pearson will give a gallery talk followed by a Q&A about the work included in the exhibition Intuitive
FREE and open to the public.
Address: One South High, Akron, OH 44308
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