Alden Mason’s artwork spans an inspired range of styles and approaches. Because Mason never stopped exploring, his paintings evolved and shifted throughout his career. Perhaps best known for his oil paintings of a particular style that came to be known as “Burpees,” Mason nonetheless was prolific in acrylic on canvas, on paper, and in other media. Gestural and narrative, some of Mason’s work features loose, abstracted figures, often just outlines, foreground and background melding. Mason taught painting at the University of Washington for over 30 years, while maintaining his artistic practice, painting profusely, daily.
Alden Mason held a BFA and an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. He had his first solo exhibition in 1946 at Henry Art Gallery, and his work was shown extensively, including at Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, and San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA to name a few. His paintings are part of dozens of Museum and University collections including San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL, and Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue WA.
Mason's retrospective exhibition Fly Your Own Thing is on view now through October 10, 2021. Organized by the Alden Mason Foundation and the Bellevue Art Museum, the exhibition features works made throughout his life, in the wide variety of styles and mediums he explored. The Alden Mason Foundation has also produced the first comprehensive monograph on the artist, printed by the University of Washington.
Alden Mason passed away in February, 2013. He was 93.