Alden Mason

Alden Mason, the reigning dean of abstract painters in the Northwest, is still going strong at the tender young age of 84. A new series at Foster/White offers more of the improvisational, almost scribble-like quality of his work, and some of the paintings are threaded with childlike renderings of dogs, fish, and assorted folks. There's a nervous energy throughout, as if Mason had found a new kind of steadfastness by embracing the unsteady tremors of age. Another series of large, candy-colored canvases absolutely glow with exuberance: you can't help being cheered by these puddles of color. In "Snow Geese," (pictured above) Mason manages to slyly evoke the subject of his title while still remaining firmly in the realm of abstraction. And how can you resist works with titles like "Pink Boober" and "Vanilla Pudding?" Late in his life, Picasso famously took a turn toward the joyous and optimistic. Mason has captured that same joie de vivre but without any loss of painterly skill. Foster/White, 123 S. Jackson, 206-622-2833. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun.

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