In 2014, Cate McQuaid, writing in the Boston Globe, described John Walker as ‘one of the standout abstract painters of the last 50 years’.
Walker was born in Birmingham in 1939. He studied at Birmingham College of Art from 1956 until 1960 and continued his studies at The British School in Rome in 1960/61, and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris from 1961 until 1963.
Walker was Gregory Fellow at Leeds University from 1967 to 1969, following which he was artist-in-residence at Oxford University in 1977/78, and at Monash University, Melbourne in 1980 and he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to the United States and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981.
He was first to show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 1972 and represented the U.K. at the Venice Bienale the same year.
He taught at the Royal College in London and at Yale University and in the 1980s he was Dean of Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 until 2015, he taught at Boston University and is currently Professor Emeritus of Art and former head of the graduate program in ‘Painting and Sculpture’ at Boston University School of Visual Arts.
One man exhibitions have taken place 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 Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.
In 2019 Walker returned to his native Birmingham where the Ikon Gallery staged a major show of ‘New Paintings’. John Walker lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts and in South Bristol, Maine.
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