Anthony Pearson, Solarizations

Anthony Pearson, Solarizations
Hardcover, 72 pp., offset 1/1, 6.25 x 9.75 inches
Edition of 1000
ISBN 978-0-9768664-2-9
Published by Midway Contemporary Art

$25.00 ·

An essay by Tim Griffin and an interview between Anthony Pearson and John Rasmussen discuss Pearson’s unusual approach to photography, his solarization and lens flare pieces, and his process. Twenty plates give the reader a clear sense of this body of work.

Pearson’s work over the past few years has been an exploration of perceptual and historical aspects of photography and abstraction. Working in both chemical and electronic processes, Pearson has melded these photographic methods in a highly personal manner to suggest that the concerns of the analog and digital are not as disparate as supposed. His ongoing series of solarized, silver gelatin prints exploit elements of chance and variability through a highly controlled three-part process. Pearson begins by constructing tableaus of foil, spray-paint, and ripped paper through both additive and subtractive methods, alluding to precedents such as the décollage of the Nouveau Realistes. After photographing details of these drawings and constructions, the prints are then solarized in the darkroom during a process by which tonality of the image is inverted to varying degrees through a brief exposure to white light. While the small scale of these photographs could be read as referencing reproductive plates of gestural mid-century paintings, the unique nature of each photograph elaborates a highly personalized language that builds upon historical strains of abstraction.