Alan Pearson

Aotearoa New Zealand / England, b.1929, d.2019

Self-portrait

  • Oil on hardboard
  • 559 x 456mm
  • 79/294
  • 1972

At the time he painted this self-portrait, Alan Pearson had recently moved to Christchurch from Auckland and his first marriage had broken up. There is a hectic energy and sense of mortality to the work that reflect his interest in the human struggle with identity. Pearson has painted numerous self-portraits, this early work reveals an intense style which was a new departure for him at the time. During this period he also painted similarly vivid landscapes. The rich colours in the portrait suggests the expressionist style and use of colour of the Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944). Pearson was born in Liverpool and arrived in New Zealand in 1956. He studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts and in the mid-1960s studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London, on a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Scholarship. Pearson has painted full-time since 1978 and has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Over the last three decades he has made several extended working visits to Britain, Europe and Australia. He currently lives and works in the Gold Coast of Australia.