Jack Marlowe WiseJack Marlowe Wise, painter (b at Centerville, Iowa 27 Apr 1928; d at Victoria, BC 20 November 1996). Jack Wise made significant contributions to Canadian art but he will be best remembered for his connection to the "Pacific North West School" tradition that includes Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, amongst others.
Wise learned the tenets of abstract expressionism as a student at Washington University (BFA, 1953) and Florida State University, obtaining a Master of Science in Art degree in 1955. For the next few years he immersed himself in various teaching positions including the development of a craft industry amongst the native Indians in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he met Toni ONLEY.
The artist immigrated to Canada's West Coast in 1963 and tried his hand at homesteading. It didn't work and he soon returned to making a highly personal and spiritually based art that investigates archetypal images. Wise received a Canada Council grant in 1966 that allowed him to travel to northern India, where he spent time with refugee Tibetan Buddhist monks. This period of study indelibly influenced the artist, and his paintings became increasingly complex investigations of the spiritual realm. These works deeply impressed a growing number of curators, collectors and fellow artists.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Wise continued to paint, study and teach, including posts at the University of California, Victoria College of Art and the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts. As well, important exhibitions of his work were mounted. Of particular note were Jack Wise: A Decade of Work, which was organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 1978, and The Internal Landscape, presented at the Nickle Arts Museum in 1985. Wise's work is found in many public collections in Canada and the most comprehensive holdings are found at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which owns more than 30 main paintings including the Dorje series.