England/New Zealand, 1894–1988
Nelson Landscape 1936
oil on canvas, 493 x 595 mm
Collection of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū: presented by Mr F. A. Shurrock in 1970. ACC: 552
William Allen was bought out to New Zealand by the Education Department, specifically to improve the quality of art education, teaching first in Otago, and then from 1933, at Nelson College.
He had a strong influence on New Zealand artists in the Modernist movement, including Toss Woollaston, Colin McCahon and Doris Lusk, all of whom were members of the Christchurch Group. Allen exhibited this painting with them in 1936.
It is not entirely clear where in Nelson this is. It is perhaps the Dovedale/Nelson hinterland area, looking back toward the Maitai Valley. The approach of depicting hills and trees in simplified colours and clear forms became characteristic of many of the Christchurch Group artists