California-based artist Michael Pearce’s The Secret Paintings makes a first stop in Ventura, California at the Museum of Ventura County on an extensive US tour that includes venues in Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida and Texas.
The Secret Paintings are a series of twenty-six large canvases that recall the theatrical grandeur of Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite masters. The highlight of the exhibition is Pearce’s latest work: Chariot. Each of the 8 foot panels in this tetraptych expresses one of four seasons through both the clothing and foliage in the trees in the background. This multi-figurative procession of young women brings to mind compositions found in relief on Roman sarcophagi. Pearce, who wrote his dissertation on Celtic traditions, often pulls subject matter from his British ancestors. The paintings also pay homage to diverse cultural landmarks including Harry Potter, the Bible, the Da Vinci Code and medieval tarot cards.
Pearce is an associate professor in the art department at California Lutheran University. He received his B.A. from Dartington College of Arts in Fallmouth, England, his Master of Fine Arts in scenic design from the University of Southern California and was awarded his Ph.D. by Plymouth University in England. As an influential leader in the representational art community, he co-founded The Representational Art Conference (also known as TRAC), an international conference which has brought together many influential scholars and artists in hopes to create a theoretical platform to raise the importance of figurative art in the new millennium. —David Molesky
Museum of Ventura County - Ventura, CA June 2 – August 6, 2017
Oklahoma University, Nona Jean Hulsey Art Gallery - Oklahoma City, OK August 21– October 2017
Stephen Smith Fine Art - Fairfield, AL November 3 – December 2017
Florida A&M University, Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery - Tallahassee, FL January 11 - February 2018