William Allister: Now and Zen
Stephen Lowe Art Gallery
Victoria, BC Sept 7-21
William Allister, Postmod III (2002), acrylic on canvas
[Stephen Lowe Art Gallery, Victoria, BC, Sept 7-21]
Now and Zen is a celebration of the life and art work of Canadian writer William Allister, who is now in his 80s. Allisters life has been colourful since WWII when he was interned as a Japanese prisoner-of-war for four years. The early years in the Orient have had an ongoing impact on his career. To date, he has had 24 solo exhibits and written world-class literature.
The current paintings, abstract detonations of brush strokes, are influenced by both Eastern and Western painting traditions. From a central point, rough textured drybrush strokes explode from within flat dripping washes, creating a third, cubic dimension. With their low-key rock bed colours and strong contrast, some of these images have the feel of post-apocalyptic sculpture.
Allister captures time, space and spirit at a point of transition and conversion. Much like the Zen arts, his paintings are controlled at the pinnacle of change to the point of elegance. Other themes explored in this collection include music and the spirit of calligraphy.