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John Walker

Video

John Walker is a British-born artist whose painterly abstractions insinuate dimensional spaces and objects. Incorporating flat collaged spaces and pictograph-like symbols, his dynamic compositions cite multiple source materials. Drawing inspiration from English poetry, Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, and the Aboriginal art of Polynesia and Australia. “If you accept that paint is colored mud, and you put it on a canvas, you realize it is only a genius, like Turner or Rembrandt, who can turn it into air,” he mused. “It is the height of ambition, it seems to me, to be a painter. How do you do this: turn it into air, or a piece of silk, or a piece of flesh?” Born on November 23, 1939 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, he studied at the Moseley School of Art in Birmingham and later at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. Walker is a Professor Emeritus of Art and the former head of the graduate program in painting at Boston University School of Visual Arts. His works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art among others. Walker lives and works in Boston, MA.