John Walker ‘Working on Paper’


This exhibition presents a series of works on paper by the renowned British-born artist John Walker, recognised for his pioneering developments in abstraction. Walker’s unique painterly language, and his teaching across continents, has influenced generations of artists over the past 50 years. This show juxtaposes the inaugural presentation of a series of new works, all produced over the past year, with works from his early career in the 1960s, thus presenting a dialogue over time. The early works presented date to 1967, just before Walker was awarded the Harkness Fellowship to visit New York (1969). He subsequently represented England at the 1972 Venice Biennale, won the 1976 John Moores Painting Prize, was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981, was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1985 and had extensive survey shows at both the Tate and Hayward galleries.


The cross-section of drawings presented from the different periods of Walker’s career, convey a shift in perspectives. After a lifetime of looking up, the more recent works show the artist looking down, to the ground beneath his feet. However, through this contrasting viewpoint, necessitated in part by age, Walker has discovered new motifs, further enriching his painting vocabulary. The new works share the vitality and dynamism of those from his early career. They are testament to an artist who has pursued a lifetime of exploratory endeavour, consistently pushing the potential of abstraction and never static in his quest. Walker is an artist who is ceaselessly innovating and progressing, constantly discovering and evolving his ideas. His work is represented in collections across the world.


Image (top): John Walker’s studio in Maine, 2021


John Walker

[ 1939
- Present ]
For more than a decade from the 1970’s, British born artists John walker was one of the most influential and imitated painters working in the UK, he represented his country at the 1972 Venice Biennale, had extensive survey shows at both the Tate and Hayward galleries and was shirtlisted for a Turner Prize in 1985.

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