Bryan Pearce Cornish, 25 July 1929-11 January 2007


Bryan Pearce was born in St Ives, Cornwall in 1929, a sufferer of the then unknown condition Phenylketonuria, which affects the normal development of the brain. Encouraged by his mother Mary, who was herself a painter, and then by other St Ives artists, he began drawing and painting in watercolours in 1953. From 1953 to 1957 he attended St Ives School of Painting under Leonard Fuller.


In 1957 Pearce began painting in oils and started to exhibit regularly at the Penwith Gallery in St Ives. He became an Associate of the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall, and later a full member, having been sponsored by the sculptor Denis Mitchell. He is also a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists; it was at the instigation of Peter Lanyon that he had his first solo show at Newlyn Gallery in 1959.


Now regarded as one of the country's foremost naive painters, Pearce is well know for portraying the local St Ives landscape and still-life compositions in oil, conte, pen and ink, and pencil.


Bryan always worked slowly and methodically, but consistently, producing perhaps twelve oil paintings a year. Often compared to Alfred Wallis, the late Peter Lanyon has said of him: "Because his sources are not seen with a passive eye, but are truly happenings, his painting is original."


Over the past 40 years Bryan Pearce has exhibited throughout the country, including the New Art Centre, Victor Waddington Gallery in London; Beaux Arts in Bath and the Oxford Museum of Modern Art. Public Collections include: the Tate Gallery, the Arts Council, the Contemporary Arts Society and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge.