Pearson, Dave

Pearson, Dave

Dave Pearson was born in Clapton, London in 1937
He went on to study painting at both Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools.
In 1959 Dave Pearson exhibited as part of the Young Contemporaries exhibition in London, and followed this with an exhibition Astronauts at the New Arts Centre.
In 1963 he began teaching at Preston School of Art but soon moved to Manchester School of Art where he remained until his retirement in 2002.
As an artist he was phenomenally productive, anarchic and passionate, and he encouraged and nurtured these qualities in his students throughout his long teaching career. As the painter Stuart Bradshaw commented “Dave the teacher was much less of a teacher than Dave the artist.” If Pearson was a great exemplar of what an artist is, he was also no respecter of budgets, bureaucracy or limitations of any kind and was renowned for his ability to use a whole year’s worth of course materials in a week-long project.
He lived and kept a studio in Haslingden, Rossendale, as well as at Globe Arts, also in Rossendale. Although he exhibited, notably at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; and Chester Arts Centre, he worked obsessively, apparently oblivious to the wider art world.
During his life he produced well over 15,000 pieces of work. Adrian Henri, in Environments and Happenings noted his obsessional quality, and went on to describe Dave (in 1974) as “one of the most exciting new artists around”.
He died in 2008 and The Dave Pearson Trust has been able to save Pearson’s studio in Haslingden, which was left on his death in a dilapidated and semi-ruined condition. The Trust has gone on to start cataloging the enormous body of work.

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