Frank Pearson


In the Ivory Tower literary magazine, student Roger Horrocks wrote of his visit to the Frank Pearson exhibit in 1965:

Entering the University Gallery (that claustrophobic white corridor which reminds me of a ship’s passageway), I was overwhelmed by the blaze of color pouring out from a series of diamond-shaped, T-shaped, and upside-down-L-shaped canvases. At first, I approved of the disciplined geometrical forms, but felt very irritated by the color. There appeared to be not the slightest attempt to blend or harmonize different tints, not one painting on which the eye could rest peacefully.

Horrocks did warm up to the paintings eventually, appreciating their optical illusion qualities.
The painter Frank Pearson was a faculty in the University of Minnesota Art Department at the time of his show. Pearson resigned suddenly after only one and a half years on the faculty, and if you’d like to know why, take a look at the Peter Busa entry on this blog and venture a guess…

Frank Pearson talking with Sidney Simon (director of the U Gallery), and student Roger Horrocks. On the right, a photograph from the opening.

Color images of Pearson’s paintings from 1965. The color images have cracked, while the black and white images of the show have held up.

2 Comments on "Frank Pearson"

  1. | August 5, 2011 at 6:13 am |

    Dear Frank Pearson (if you happen to read this), I did indeed warm up to the paintings! I had great respect for your work. My apologies for the negative start. Incidentally, I am now back in New Zealand (I was a visiting student in Minnesota for two years – and my daughter was born during that time at the university hospital). For the last 44 years I have been involved in the arts back in my own country. It was a shock to come across something I’d written so long ago! My best wishes to whoever wrote this page. -Roger Horrocks

  2. Mr. Horrocks, I’m so pleased you found this post! I particularly liked your description of the University Gallery. Since it is no longer in Northrup (it’s now the Weisman Art Museum), I really appreciate getting a sense of what it was like then. It’s great to get an update about you, and I’m glad to hear you are still involved in the arts. I did a little online searching to see if I could find out what happened to Frank Pearson, but had no luck (perhaps his name is too common). Best wishes to you too!

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