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    • William Allen
    • 22 Stations 2016
    • 16 enamel paintings on metal: 9.25 x 14 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Exoplanets 2016
    • 9 enamel paintings on metal: 9.25 x 14 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Good Fish, Bad Fish 2015
    • 12 enamel oil paintings on metal: 9.25 x 14 inches each
    • William Allen
    • N.Y.C. Islands 2012
    • 7 oil enamel paintings on metal: 9.25 x 14 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow 2014
    • 12 oil enamel paintings on metal 'Posted: No Hunting' signs : 9.25 x 14.25 inches
    • William Allen
    • My Friend the Dog 2014
    • 4 oil enamel paintings on metal 'Beware of the Dog' signs: 9.25 x 14.25 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Already Gone 2014
    • 9 oil enamel paintings on metal 'Posted: No Hunting' signs : 9.25 x 14.25 inches each
    • William Allen
    • American Place Names 2014
    • 9 oil enamel paintings on metal: 9.25 x 14.25 inches each
    • William Allen
    • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 2006
    • 9 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Undersea Features 2006
    • 9 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Gene Names 2006
    • 9 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Food 2006
    • 5 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Streets of Weimar 2007
    • 3 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Spiders
    • 3 oil enamel paintings on wood: 16 x 16 inches each
    • William Allen
    • Seven Wonders 2002
    • suite of 7 embossings in engraved wooden box: 10.75 x 10.75 inches each; box 13 x 13 inches
    • Edition of 28
    • William Allen
    • Seven Seas 2002
    • suite of 7 woodcuts in engraved wooden box: 10.75 x 10.75 inches each; box 13 x 13 inches
    • Edition of 28
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William Allen

American, b. 1957

Painter, printmaker and poet, William Allen has been working in the world of words and interpretation of visual language and literal language for the past three decades. Allen brings together his wide view of the meaning of words and bright colorful paint to create signs that remind the viewer of the relationship between words and images.  Bringing words to the forefront has been Allen’s longtime focus and fascination.

A recent work, My Friend the Dog, plays with the problem of what lies beneath the painted script. Here, names of beloved dog breeds are rendered on aluminum ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs, looking for what’s tender as well as taut. Although not obvious at a glance, the artist takes pleasure in the secret, subtle shifts of meaning between form and function, between the underlying primal message and its frisky recreation.

William Allen’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art PS1, the Tate Modern, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Momenta Art,  Harvard University, Williams College,  Newark Museum, Ann Norton Sculpture Garden, on the NYC subway, and Buffalo metro bus lines. His prints with Clay Street Press are made on different surfaces like street signs, Egyptian cotton, limestone and zinc. He is a recipient of a Queens Council on the Arts Fellowship (2012) for his Queens street names paintings, and a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (2009) for Bannister’s Landscapes, a set of poems about the Providence, RI African-American Beaux Arts painter with very telling titles for his paintings. His two published books of poems are The Man on the Moon (Persea and NYU Presses, 1987) and Sevastopol: On Photographs of War (Xenos Press, 1997). New poetry includes “The Largest Glue Factory in the World” (a history of the Newtown Creek), “21 Stations” about the 7 train in New York, and “Linea Eins,” on the German U-Bahn of the Berlin Wall.

 

  • Read William Allen's full biography here
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