Spotlight: William George Allan (American; b. 1936), Trout, 1973

William George Allan (American; b. 1936), Trout, 1973. Lithograph in blue on cream wove paper (Edition: 17/50), 25 x 27 inches, Franco Collection, Auburn University at Montgomery.​

Catalogue entry by Nicholas Yeend

William George Allan was born in Everett, Washington in 1936 and currently resides in California. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and taught at the University of California in Berkeley and Davis. He is “known for a super-surreal view, [and] abstraction” (AskArt) and works with mixed media, printmaking, and painting. Most of his work focuses on “animals, mammals [and] figure, figurative, human figures” (AskArt).

This piece is a lithograph with the subject matter being a fish’s head floating in the center. This coincides with the surrealist, animal, and printmaking focus of his work. Surrealists are described as finding “strange beauty in the unexpected and the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional” (Tate). No context of the removal of the head is hinted at in the piece; it appears to be coming from the void. The subject is disconnected from everything else by a sea of cream and this isolation strengthens the disconnected notion of the head.

Sources:

“William George Allan,” https://www.askart.com/artist/William_George_Allan/32198/William_George_Allan.aspx

“Surrealism,” https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/surrealism

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