Ken Whisson, Light and dark landscape, 13/1/04,
Oil on linen, 100.5 x 120.5 cm
Looking at one of Ken Whisson's works is like studying a diagram of the thinking mind. This is why their schematic forms begin to seem ever more familiar over time – they conjure up experiences and observations that virtually everyone holds in common.
John McDonald, Ken Whisson: Paintings and Drawings 1947-1999 with Writings and Talks by the Artist, Niagara Publishing, 2001
Ken Whisson's paintings are intuitive sketches, marks and notations of things seen and experienced. Observational references are often obscured by abstract forms. Lines and shapes, anamorphic or otherwise, create suggestive passages of painting. Whisson's work is akin to an expanded form of writing. Whisson spells out images, creating rudimentary symbols. These forms work together to record an accurate reflection of his memory.
Born in Lilydale outside Melbourne, Whisson studied at Swinburne Technical College between 1944 and 1945. He received tuition from Danilla Vassilieff in the years 1945 and 1946, providing him with direct contact and influence from the seminal generation of Melbourne expressionists. In 1977 he moved permanently to Perugia, Italy.
Ken Whisson has continued to exhibit regularly in Australia, building a significant reputation. His work is represented in all major Australian public collections as well as in the British Museum, London and the Chartwell Collection, New Zealand.