John Walker (British, b. 1939) is an English painter and printmaker. Walker studied in Birmingham. His early works were inspired by Post-Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism. He uses three-dimensional shapes and flat elements to create images with acrylic paint.

Walker created a series of large blackboard pieces using chalk and dry pigment in the 1970s. The two series, Blackboard Pieces and Juggernaut, are considered some of his most famous works. Toward the end of the 1970s, the artist’s work showed the influences of earlier painters such as Edouard Manet (French, 1832–1883), Francisco Goya (Spanish, 1746–1828), and Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). He also started using oil paint in his work. His 1970s works have been referred to as "canvas collage," an application of glued-on individual painted patches of canvas on the main canvas.

Walker took a position at the Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. During his time there, he produced the Oceania series, works that include hints of native Oceanic Art. In 1976, Walker won the John Moores Painting Prize, and in 1985, he was nominated for the Turner Prize. His work can be found in galleries throughout the world, including the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Art Institute of Chicago, the British Museum in London, the City Art Gallery in Leeds, Harvard University Art Museums, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Imperial War Museum in London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Fogg Art Museum, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 2010, Walker and British artists Howard Hodgkin (British, b.1932), Ian Stephenson (British, 1934–2000), R.B. Kitaj (British, 1932–2007), John Hoyland (British, 1934–2011), and Patrick Caulfield (British, 1936–2005) were part of an exhibition called The Independent Eye: Contemporary British Art From the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie. It was held at the Yale Center for British Art. Walker is currently the head of the graduate painting program at Boston University.

Timeline

1993–-
Professor of Graduate Painting, Director of The Graduate Painting Program, Boston University.
1939
Born, November 12, Birmingham, England
1956–1960
Studied at Birmingham School of Art
1960
Arts Council Drawing Prize
1960–1961
Edwin Abbey Travel Scholarship
1960–1961
First Prize: National Young Artists Drawing Competition
1961–1963
Studied at Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris
1965
Third Prize: John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
1966
Arts Council Drawing Prize
1962–1969
Taught at Stourbridge College of Art, West Midlands.
1962–1969
Taught at Birmingham College of Art.
1962–1969
Taught at St. Martin's School of Art, London
1962–1969
Taught at Royal College of Art, London.
1967–1969
Arts Council Purchase Award
1967–1969
Gregory Fellow in Painting, University of Leeds.
1969
Theodoran Award
1969–1971
Resided in New York as recipient of Harkness Fellowship
1974
Second Prize, John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
1974
First Prize, Bradford International Print Biennale, Yorkshire
1974–1975
Professor of Painting and Drawing, The Cooper Union, New York
1974–1975
Professor of Painting and Drawing, New York Studio School.
1975
Visiting Artist, Columbia University, New York.
1975
Visiting Professor, Yale University Graduate School of Art and Architecture, New Haven.
1976
First Prize John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
1972–1978
Tutor, Royal College of Art, London.
1977–1978
Artist–in–Residence, St. Catherine's College, Oxford University.
1979
Visiting Artist, Monash University, Melbourne.
1980
Artist–in–Residence, Prahran College of Advanced Education, Melbourne.
1981
Guggenheim Fellowship
1985
Shortlisted for The Turner Prize
1982–1986
Dean, School of Art, Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne.
1989
Visiting Professor, Yale University Graduate School of Art and Architecture, New Haven.
2001
The Benjamin Altman Prize for Excellence in Painting, The 177th Annual, National Academy of Design, New York
2003
Kahn Award, Boston University
2004
Academy Award in Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
2007
Artist-in-Residence, Brookhaven College, Dallas, Texas, July
2004–2008
Member, Guggenheim Foundation’s Education Advisory Board, 2004–2008.
Resides and works in Boston and near Walpole, Maine

Exhibitions

2011
Modern Masters: New Paintings by Sean Scully and John Walker, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
2011
John Walker Seal Point & Harrington Road, Knoedler & Company at The Armory Show, New York, March 3–6. (solo)
2010–2011
The Independent Eye: Contemporary British Art from the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie.
2010
Counterpoint: The Voices of John Walker and African Art, Hamill Gallery of Tribal Art, Boston, Massachusetts.
2010
This Could Happen to You: Ikon in the 1970s, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England.
2010
Seal Point by John Walker, Visual Art Center, The Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, March 2–19. Catalogue. Traveled to The Yuan Art Museum, Beijing, China, March 21–April 21; Inside-Out Art Center, Beijing China, May 30–June 30. (solo)
2009
John Walker: Drawing 1973–1975. Knoedler & Company, New York, January 15–March 7. Catalogue with text by William Corbett. (solo)
2009
John Walker, The Dock Arts Center, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, Ireland. June 26 –September 5.(solo)
2009
John Walker, Center for Recent Drawing (C4RD), London, England, September 9–October 30.(solo)
2009
John Walker: Incoming Tide—Small Paintings fro Seal Point, Maine, Offer Waterman & Co., London, England, October 16–November 14. Catalogue with essay by Christopher Riopelle. (solo)
2006
John Walker: Seal Point Series. Knoedler & Company, New York and Nielsen Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.(solo)
2006
Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 3–July 10, 2006.
2006
Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
2006
Reverence: Awe, Admiration, Love, Devotion, Honor, Respect, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
2006
Landscaping, Lohin Geduld Gallery, New York
2006
John Walker: Selected Work, Marist College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, New York (solo)
2006
John Walker: Seal Point Series, Knoedler & Company, New York (solo)
2006
John Walker: Passing Bells, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, Massachusetts (solo)
2006
John Walker: Seal Point Series, Nielsen Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts (solo)
2005
John Walker: Collage. Knoedler & Company, New York, Catalogue with text by Dore Ashton (solo)
2005
John Walker: Works on Paper 1990–2004, Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Traveled to Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Catalogue with text by Ruth Fine. (solo)
2005
John Walker: New Work, The Pierrepont Gallery, Bridport, West Dorset, England (solo)
2005
The Continuous Mark: 40 Years of the New York Studio School. The New York Studio School, New York, Jennifer Samet, guest curator.
2004
American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting & Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
2004
March Heat, Nielsen Gallery, Boston, MA
2004
Art & The 60s: This Was Tomorrow. Tate Britain, London. Catalogue with text by Chris Stephens and Katharine Stout.
2004
John Walker: A Winter in Maine, 2003–2004. Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, July 29–August 29. Traveled to University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, Catalogue with text by Bruce Brown (solo)
2004
Nielsen Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts: John Walker: New Paintings (solo)
2003
John Walker: Changing Light. Knoedler & Company, New York, Catalogue with text by Eliza Rathbone (solo)
2002–2003
Painting in Boston: 1950–2000. De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln. Catalogue with text by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, John Stomberg, Nicholas Capasso, Carl Belz, and Ann Wilson Lloyd.
2002
Special (untitled) installation of works selected from the permanent collection by John Walker, curator. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
2002
The 177th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition, National Academy Museum, New York
2002
John Walker. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Catalogue with text by Eliza Rathbone. (solo)
2002
John Walker: Oceans, Tidepools and Plein Air Paintings. Wiegand Art Gallery, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California, Catalogue with text by Bruce Brown. (solo)
2002
John Walker: Paintings and Prints. DAAP Galleries at the University of Cincinnati (solo)
2001
John Walker: Time and Tides. Knoedler & Company, New York, Catalogue with text by Jack Flam. (solo)
2001
A Maine Tidal Cove: Paintings by John Walker. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Catalogue with text by Katy Kline (solo)
2001
John Walker: Maine Landscapes. Nielsen Gallery, Boston (solo)
2001
A Master Class: British Class—John Hoyland, John Walker, Basil Beattie, John Edwards. Stephen Lacey Gallery, London
1999
John Walker: Passing Bells. Nielsen Gallery, Boston/Knoedler & Company, New York (solo)
1999
The Anthony and Madeleine Carter Gift of Paintings and Drawings by John Walker. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Brochure with text by Patrick McCaughey. (solo)
1999
40 Years of American Drawings. Raab Galerie, Berlin
1997–1999
A Theater of Recollection: Paintings and Prints by John Walker. Boston University Art Gallery. Traveled to Knoedler & Company, New York, (variation); Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie; Lee Scarfone Gallery, University of Tampa; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. (solo)
1997
Recent Works by John Walker. Weatherspoon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (solo)
1997
Founders and Heirs of the New York School (organized: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of The United States of America in Japan). Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan and The Yomiuri Shimbun Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo/The Yomiuri Shimbun. Traveled to Miyagi Prefectural Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki.
1994–1995
An American Passion: The Susan Kasen Summer and Robert D. Summer Collection of Contemporary British Painting. McLellan Galleries, Glasgow. Traveled to Royal College of Art, London.
1991–1992
John Walker: Paintings and Drawings. The Arts Club of Chicago, Illinois. (solo)
1987–1988
Viewpoint: An Exhibition of British Contemporary Art (organized by The British Council). Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels.
1986–1988
After Matisse (organized: Independent Curators Incorporated, New York). Traveled to Queens Museum of Art, Flushing; The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Dayton Art Institute; Worcester Art Museum.
1987
British Art in the 20th Century. Royal Academy of Arts, London.
1987
British Art 1900–1980: The Modern Movement. Royal Academy of Arts, London.
1986–1987
The Window in Twentieth–Century Art. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York. Traveled to Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.
1985
John Walker: Paintings from the Alba and Oceania Series 1979–84. Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Hayward Gallery, London. Traveled to Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. (solo)
1984–1985
The British Art Show 2; Old Allegiances and New Directions 79–84 (organized: Arts Council of Great Britain). Traveled to City Art Gallery/Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield; Southampton Art Gallery.
1984
The Critical Eye, The Yale British Art Center, Yale Center for British Art.
1982
Aspects of British Art Today. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Traveled to Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Fukuoka Art Museum; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo.
1982
John Walker. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Traveled to The J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville.(solo)
1979
John Walker. University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Traveled to The David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham. (solo)
1978–1979
John Walker: Drawings 1978. Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London. (solo)
1978
John Walker. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. (solo)
1977
25 Years of British Painting. Royal Academy of Art, London.
1976
John Moore’s Liverpool Exhibition — 10. Walker Art Center, Liverpool.
1975
Traveled to Bogota; São Paulo; Montevideo; Caracas; and Mexico City.
1975
Painting Endures. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts.
1975
Color as Language. The Museum of Modern Art (International Council), New York.
1974
Critics Choice. Nigel Greenwood Inc., Ltd., London.
1974
John Moore’s Liverpool Exhibition. Walker Art Center, Liverpool.
1972
Venice Biennale XXXVI: British Section. (solo)
1970
British Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
1970
Contemporary Art in Britain (organized: The British Council). The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
1969
Theodoran Foundation Exhibition. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
1969
Marks on Canvas. Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund. Traveled to Hanover and Vienna.
1969
Gregory Fellows Exhibition. Leeds City Art Gallery. (solo)
1965
John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. Walker Art Center, Liverpool.

Public Collections

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, Purchase, NY
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Durham University Museum, Durham, UK
The Farnsworth Art Museum & Wyeth Center, Rockland, ME
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Middlesbrough City Art Gallery, Middlesbrough, UK
Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Arts Council of Great Britain, London, UK
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK
British Council, London, UK
The British Museum, London, UK
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Camden Library, London, England
Carnegie Library, Portsmouth, UK
City Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries, England
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, UK
Tate Gallery, London, UK

Literature

2009
William Corbett. John Walker: Drawings 1973–1975, Exh. Cat. (New York: Knoedler & Company, 2009).
2009
Christopher Riopelle. John Walker: Incoming Tide—Small Paintings from Seal Point, Maine, Exh. Cat. (London: Offer Waterman & Co., London, England, 2009).
2005
Ruth Fine. John Walker: Works on Paper 1990–2004, Exh. Cat. (Portland, Maie: Portland Museum of Art, Maine, 2005).
2005
Dore Ashton. John Walker: Collage, Exh. Cat. (New York: Knoedler & Company, 2005).
2002
Carl Belz. John Walker: Oceans, Tidepools and Plein Air Paintings, Exh. Cat. (Belmont, California: Wiegand Art Gallery, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2002).
2002
Eliza Rathbone. John Walker, Exh. Cat. (Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 2002).
2001
Jack Flam. John Walker: Time and Tides, Exh. Cat. (New York: Knoedler & Company, 2001).
2001
Katy Kline. A Maine Tidal Cove: Paintings by John Walker, Exh. Cat. (Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, 2001).
1997
John R. Stomberg. A Theater of Recollection: Paintings and Prints by John Walker, Exh. Cat. (Boston, Massachusetts: Boston University Art Gallery, 1997).
1985
Dore Ashton. John Walker: Paintings from the Alba and Oceania Series 1979–84, Exh. Cat. (London, England: Arts Council of Great Britain, Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1985).
1982
Jack Flam. John Walker, Exh. Cat. (Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 1982).
1978
Andrew Forge. John Walker, Exh. Cat. (Washington, D.C.: The Phillips Collection, 1978).