ALDEN MASON
Burpee Garden Revisited, 1973 - 1976
March 6 - March 29
Opening: March 6, 6:00 - 8:00 pm


ALDEN MASON
RAINBOW ROCKER, 1973
Oil on canvas

80 x 90 inches


In 1973, following the spectacular success of his first exhibition of the Burpee Garden series of paintings at Seattle's Polly Friedlander Gallery, Alden Mason visited New York at the invitation of Chuck Close. Close, a former student of Mason, encouraged him to install a number of his Burpee Garden paintings in Close's SoHo studio in the hopes of finding a dealer in New York. Notably, Close arranged for the maverick art dealer Allan Stone to view Mason's work.

Seeing the paintings Mason installed in Close's studio, Stone agreed to buy all of them and to represent Mason’s work in New York. Two of the paintings illustrated here are among those works Stone acquired and held for the last thirty-five years. We are pleased to present them for the first time in Seattle. In addition, we will show several Burpee Garden paintings and watercolors for resale from local private collections.

ALDEN MASON
BURPEE SURPRISE PACKAGE, 1972
Oil on canvas

70 x 82 inches


Allan Stone showed Mason's paintings through the late 1970s, finding an international market for the work. Some of the Burpee Garden paintings were also shown to great acclaim at Ruth Schaffner Gallery in Los Angeles and were acquired by museums and important collectors.

Burpee Garden paintings are represented in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Denver Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA and corporate and private collections.


ALDEN MASON
GOLDEN BURPEE, 1973
Oil on canvas

70 x 85 inches


The Burpee Garden series, named after the Burpee Seed Company catalog which Mason remembered from his early years growing up on a farm in the Skagit Valley, were the first of many triumphant innovations as Mason's career progressed. With their audacious color, surprising scale, and exuberant abstraction, they represent a break with the drably colored or poetic narratives that had typified painting here following the advent of the Northwest School. Mason's significance is obvious in the way the Burpee Garden paintings mark a distinct turn in that linear history. Along with other abstract artists working in Seattle such as Michael Dailey, Robert Jones, William Ivey, and Frank Okada, Mason influenced the development of many younger artists here. Despite his need to abandon oil painting because of its detrimental effect on his health, this short lived series of paintings remain the pinnacle of Mason's early success.

In Seattle, Mason was represented by Greg Kucera Gallery from 1983 to 1996. He is currently showing work made since the 1980s at Foster/White Gallery, where he has been represented since 2003. We are pleased to work with Foster/White Gallery in presenting a broad range of Alden Mason's work from the last four decades in our two simultaneous exhibitions.


ALDEN MASON
BROWN BINGO, 1976
Oil on canvas

70 x 82 inches


Alden Mason's paintings