Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson (1937 – 2008) was an artist who created an extraordinarily varied and rich body of artwork – mainly paintings, drawings and prints. The writer and critic Edward Lucie-Smith commented on Pearson’s ability to ‘join the personal to the universal’. His phenomenal commitment to his work meant that he has left in excess of 15,000 pieces of artwork, all of which are closely released for public view by The Dave Pearson Trust. The Dave Pearson Trust works closely with According to McGee, bringing to art lovers and collectors the opportunity to view Pearson’s work in York’s city centre white cube.

Studied painting at St Martins and the Royal Academy Schools 1955-1960


Exhibitions and Work

1959 Young Contemporaries exhibition, London

1961 New Art Centre, two-person show. Astronauts: oil paintings

1962 Started to work in a variety of media: assemblages, photomontage, drawing and painting, mixed media, attempts at kinetic work

1966 Started to work on transcriptions of Van Gogh’s paintings, making large-scale structures in wood, cardboard and papier-mâché

1972 One person show in Bluecoat and Liverpool Academy Galleries

1973 Serpentine Gallery, Serpentine Graphics 73, September 8-30th London: prints and sculptures on Van Gogh theme: Daubigny’s Garden, the Potato Eaters

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham: prints from the Serpentine show

‘The Book Of Revelations’

Made the 273 paintings and drawings that make up the Revelations series, based on the Book of Revelation

1973 Serpentine exhibition of prints toured Sweden

Chester Arts Centre, one-person show on Van Gogh theme: structures, paintings and prints

Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, mixed show. The Asylum: pastels

Holden Gallery, Manchester: one-person show of the first work on English Calendar Customs: series of large pastels

1974 Hayward Gallery, London: British Painting, mixed show. The Asylum: two large relief structures. Continued working on English Calendar Customs series: pastels, prints, relief paintings and drawings

1975  Bede Gallery, Jarrow: Palmers Yard: Giant Cranes and the Building Berth constructed in wood from studies made from photos, with Bob Frith, on the  roof of the gallery

1977 Collaborated with Bob Frith on structures for the theatre company, Welfare State International, in Burnley

‘Calendar Customs’

1981 Bede Gallery, Jarrow. One-person show, English Calendar Customs: collage, cardboard, oils, large pastels

1983 Bede Gallery, Jarrow. One-person show, In The Seven Woods. A celebration of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance: relief paintings, prints, drawings.

Began to develop more autobiographical paintings in oils

1986 Bede Gallery, Jarrow: large painting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jarrow March

1988 Haslingden Library, one person show. Autobiographical paintings and Jarrow March

1989 Senate House Exhibition Hall, Liverpool University, one-person show: Dave Pearson, Paintings and Drawings. 15th May-2nd June. Oil paintings on autobiographical themes

Started to work on Sailing To Byzantium series

1990 Bede Gallery, Jarrow: Vincent. 16th September – 26th October. Mixed show to celebrate centenary of Van Gogh’s death. Large structure of Bridge at Arles erected with Don MacKinlay and Mel Chantrey on the roof of the gallery. Also showed a series of drawings based on each of Van Gogh’s self portraits.

‘Sailing To Byzantium

1991 Holden Gallery, Manchester, one-person show. Sailing To Byzantium: oil paintings, gouache studies and drawings.
Prizewinner, Manchester Academy



The Byzantium paintings are site related and were adapted and added to for the four galleries.

1992 Smith Gallery, Brighouse, one-person show, Byzantium: 22nd May-4th July. Large oil paintings and gouache studies

1994 Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, one-person show, Byzantium: 10th September – 15th October. Large multi-sectional shaped paintings; gouache studies

Art Academy, Warsaw: mixed show

1996 Bede Gallery, Jarrow, one-person show, Byzantium. 4th July – 14th August. Large oil paintings covered the ceilings as well as the walls, to extend the space.

1997 Holden Gallery, Manchester, one-person show: Byzantium and Jerusalem Part One. 28th April-23rd May. Oil paintings and drawings developing the themes established in 1989

Commission for Blackburn Health Authority to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NHS. The Phoenix chosen.


1998 Working on interpretation of medieval bestiaries

Globe Arts exhibition, one-person show (October), The Beauty of the Beast: large and small oil paintings

Globe Arts exhibition, one-person show (November): The Hyena

Globe Arts exhibition, mixed show (December): The Green Man

1999 Workshops for Rossfest, Rossendale arts festival (May)

Globe Arts exhibition, mixed show for Rossfest: The Search for the Blue Wolf, one of a series of paintings developing the Bestiary theme

Byzantium paintings shown in Czech Republic (October to November)

1999-2000 Co-ordinator for Globe Arts’ Year of the Artist projects in Rawtenstall Market: series of changing installations over the year

2000-2002 Work on the theme of Ulysses (James Joyce) and The Odyssey (Homer), culminating in an audiovisual presentation in Tenerife

2000 Visit to Orkney

2001 Exhibition in Liverpool of paintings on Orkney theme

Horse and Bamboo Centre, Waterfoot, Rossendale: The Wicked Who Would  Do Me Harm, August – September, an audio visual installation on the theme of saving Lee Bank from property developers

2002 Organised Drawing exhibition, Righton Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, mixed show

‘Encyclopedia’ and ‘Hospital’ series

2002 to 2008, work on Encyclopedia, a mixture of quotations on many themes in different media: painting, drawing, photography, collage.

2003 Illness, work based on an operation at Burnley General Hospital

2004 The Big Draw, drawing installation in Rawtenstall town centre based on war memorials in Rossendale.Visit to Normandy to see D-Day landing sites

2005 Hospital series: painting, drawing, photography, collage

Started work on The Milky Way, a personal pilgrimage based on the film by Luis Bunuel

Died 18th July 2008

Obituary The Guardian Tuesday 4th November 2008

Film ‘To Byzantium’ released October 201; dir. Derek Smith

2009 See Gallery, Crawshawbooth: Dedicated to the Life of the Imagination, one-person show, 26th February to 3rd April 2010 See Gallery, Crawshawbooth: Unseen Work, one-person show, 13th to 11th April

See Gallery, Crawshawbooth: Into the Light, one-person show, 23rd October – 28th November

2011 House of the Nobleman, Regents Park, London: The Return, mixed show 14th – 23rd October

2012 Bermondsey Project Space, London: Byzantium and Beyond, one-person show, 31st August – 21st September

‘Byzantium and Beyond’ catalogue published, with essay by Edward Lucie-Smith, David MacLagan, Margaret Mytton

See Gallery, Crawshawbooth: Works on Paper, one-person show, 21st September – 6th October

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