John Walker [ 1939 - Present ]

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Born and raised in Birmingham to a classically working class family who gave blood to the British cause from the Boer to the Second world war, bold commitment and brave decisions mark out the turning points that have guided John’s life. It is indicative perhaps that he would accept the role of teaching at the Royal College of Art but turn down an invitation to become its principal, moving instead to Australia. Walker had a strong influence as Dean of Victoria College of Art Melbourne in the 1980’s – where there is still a bursary in his name. In 1969 he was awarded the Harkness Fellowship to visit New York and subsequently he would be awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in1981. By then Betty Parsons had found her way to his studio door in the UK, recognising the

strength of his painterly language. It was through Betty that John found Maine, taking a holiday cottage that would become his home and a teaching post at Boston where he is still Professor Emeritus. Life is the carapace of our choices and John is a rare species, a British born internationally applauded abstract painter. He is considered one of their own by both Australia and America, two countries that readily adopted him and more recently China where he is visiting teacher in art at Beijing.

John Walker has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in NY; The Phillips Collection in DC; The Tate Gallery, London; The Hayward Gallery in London; The Kunstverein, Hamburg; The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; and others.

His work can be found in museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery, Edinburgh; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.

Auckland Art Museum

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Arts Council England

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

The British Museum, London, England

Brooklyn College,

City University of New York

Camden Library, London, England

Carnegie Library, Portsmouth, England

City Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries, England

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas

Durham University Museum, England

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine

Fogg Art Museum,

Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Imperial War Museum, London, England

Inside Out Museum, Beijing, China

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Iziko Museums of Cape Town, South Africa

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

The Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Leicestershire Education Authority, England

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England

MIT-List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany

Museum Neuhaus—Sammlung Liaunig, Austria

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles,

California Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York

The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Portland Museum of Art, Maine

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery, Edinburgh

Southampton City Art Gallery, England

Tate Gallery, London, England

Try-Me Collections, Richmond, Virginia

Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland

University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City

The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut

“John Walker,” The New Yorker (March 9–April 2, 1991) page 10.

“Scanning New York,” Art Today Video Magazine, Ltd. vol. 1, no. 5 (June 1995).

“JohnWalker: Anthem (1997),” On Paper (September/October 1997) page 42.

“The Talk of the Town, Galleries—Uptown: John Walker,” The New Yorker (February 5, 2001)

“Galleries-Uptown. “John Walker, The New Yorker (March 31, 2003).

“John Walker: Expressionist in Mud,” Down East (August 2003).

“John Walker ‘Collage’,” Art Listings, The New York Times (March 11, 2005).

Against the Grain, Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection. Pages 110-111 and 127. published by MOMA, 2006.

Book: Seal Point Series, published by Nielsen Gallery, 2007

Book: The Turner Prize and British Art. Pages 62-64. 2007. published by Tate, essay by Tom Morton.

Photos of John Walker’s studio and surroundings taken on a visit by gallery owner Johnny Messum in 2019.