Anthony Pearson

March 2 - April 1, 2023

On view at Marianne Boesky Gallery

507 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011


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Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Anthony Pearson, the Los Angeles-based artist's sixth solo presentation with the gallery. The exhibition, featuring work from Pearson's Embedments and Casements series, embodies a new chapter in his career-spanning investigation of form and material.


Renowned for his inventive processes and sensitive approach to materials, Pearson (b. 1969; Los Angeles, CA)  has built a body of work that exudes an intimate, poetic certitude. Through ongoing experimentation with the formal and technical limits of his chosen materials, he has developed a singular visual vocabulary rooted in abstraction that interrogates the balances of positive and negative, light and dark, control and chance. Working seamlessly across an ambitious range of media that includes photography, drawing, installation, and sculpture, Pearson elevates the intrinsic qualities of his materials, yielding an understated and unexpectedly sensitive oeuvre. 


Begun in 2021, the Casements are a continuation of Pearson's investigation into the formal, material, and aesthetic potential of Hydrocal, an industrial gypsum cement. To produce these works, he pours pigmented Hydrocal directly into loosely constructed fabric molds, allowing the liquid cement mixture to spread within the cloth as it hardens. Once cured, Pearson peels the fabric away from the surface to reveal interlocking abstract forms and, in some instances, finishes them with Keim mineral paint, which binds mechanically to Hydrocal, staining the works in deep, rich hues. The Casements record the process of their creation-the moments Hydrocal meets cloth. And while the cement, by its nature, is perpetually hardening, the works nevertheless retain the softness of the textiles in which they are cured-the pattern of the fabric's weave and the loose fibers of the cotton or linen remain visible in the cement surface. The Casements, cement fragments articulated with an unexpected softness and sensuality, revel in their inherent dualities: soft and hard, chance and control, movement and stillness.


The Embedments, another recent iteration of the artist's work in Hydrocal, contain the cement forms within the confines of the frame. Pearson creates a cloth mold inside a frame and pours pigmented concrete in from the reverse. Once cured, he removes the fabric to reveal compositions formed, in part, by chance. Contained within the frame, the Embedments take on the appearance of abstract paintings, the softness of their gentle, organic forms countering the hard physicality of the material itself. Embedments and Casements build upon Pearson's earlier bodies of work in Hydrocal, a material he began working with as an intermediary in 2007. With the Casements, in contrast to the earlier framed Hydrocal works, Pearson removes the forms of his Embedments from the constraints of the frame, the abstracted forms thrust off the wall and into space.


Born and raised in Los Angeles, Pearson earned a BFA from California College of the Arts and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles-and his distinctly West Coast practice sits comfortably within the legacy of California modernism. Throughout the course of his career, Pearson has moved fluidly between mediums-from the abstract photography of his early practice to the sculptural work in which he is currently engaged. Yet, for the artist, these practices are inextricably linked: the concerns at the heart of his practice-his attention to materiality, to form, to the interplay of shadow and light, of positive and negative space-remain the same across media. For Pearson, curator Alex Klein writes, the topography of Southern California "was a site of endless childhood discovery, and its earth tones and Mediterranean atmosphere would come to shape an aesthetic sensibility attuned to the dynamic subtleties of the Southern California landscape." 


The exhibition will be on view March 2 - April 1 at Marianne Boesky Gallery. Keefe Butler, in collaboration with the artist, will design the lighting for the exhibition to highlight the subtle complexities at play in Pearson's newest body of work.



Anthony Pearson's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN. His work has also been featured in institutional group exhibitions, including Tantric drawings: sites of transformation, Drawing Room, London, UK, and Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK; L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Sun Placed in the Abyss, Columbus Museum of Art, OH; Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Paintings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; second nature: abstract photography then and now,deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, CO; and Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX. Pearson's work is included in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. Pearson lives and works in Los Angeles.