Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Encyclopaedia Series

As Ella Cole continues the epic task of cataloguing Dave Pearson's work, we have now exceeded 11000 pieces while recording the 'Encyclopaedia' series (see previous blog). These pieces number at least 200 sheets, each about 60 x 85 cms, and are of gouache and ink drawn and painted over series of photocopied adhesive sheets.

The majority of these works contain quotations from philosophers, politicians, writers and others. Dave frequently incorporates self-portraits among these, along with other drawings and a rich colouring; without obvious comment or reference to the written statements.

These works were done during Dave's last years, when he had totally filled up his studio spaces, and was too frail to continue to work on a larger scale. They have been in piles on plan chests in his studio until Ella got round to them for cataloguing. The inventiveness running throughout this series of work is impressive, as in everything Dave undertook. Having an opportunity to look more carefully at them is stimulating, and yet they are ultimately mysterious - I think that the combination of the texts and the seemingly unrelated imagery makes this so.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Number 11000!

Ella has been busy with her work at the Dave Pearson Trust - she has now moved from the top floor of the studio to the middle floor, and has just begun the process of cataloguing the works stored on that level.

I walked in the other day and she had just reached number 11000 in the cataloguing of  Dave Pearson's work. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the handwritten entry on the back of the painting. 

It's one of the large 'Encyclopaedia' series...when Dave was bedridden towards the end of his life he focused his energies on relatively small, manageable works on paper. This series used photocopied texts which he then worked over in a variety of media - gouache, pencil, ink - combined with self-portraits.