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Details & Cataloguing

20th Century British Art

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London

John Walker
B.1939
N.Y.C. NO.III
signed and titled on the reverse
oil, grit and collage on canvas
218.5 by 176cm.; 86 by 69¼in.
Executed in 1975.
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Provenance

Nigel Greenwood Gallery, where acquired by the present owner in the early 1980s

Catalogue Note

John Walker came to prominence following his showing at the 1965 John Moores exhibition in Liverpool. While Walker's early paintings look to New York models of painterly Abstract Expressionism, his paintings of the late 1970s reinterpret and investigate earlier stylistic movements and creative masters. By layering and applying individually painted cut out bits of canvas to the larger whole, Walker reconstructs the Cubist's use of collage on an immense scale. His works of this period also incorporate the pictorial motifs of Henri Matisse, Eduardo Manet, Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya. The present work is from a series which draws on the mourning female figure in Goya's the Duchess of Alba (1797).

 

Walker stated that while creating the Alba forms, he felt the need to 'imbue feeling in them, and the nice thing was that the form was available for a range of feelings. But it was like an abstract form trying to be figurative, so I decided to include other things in the paintings that were figurative, to challenge it, to see if they could co-exist. At first, certain things that were around in my studio, such as skulls or Oceanic sculpture.' (John Walker in conversation with Colin Smith, Colin Smith Studio)

In 1972 Walker represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. He went on to win the John Moores Painting Prize in 1976 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1985. Following a period of residency in Australia, Walker moved to the East Coast of the United Sates, where he currently lives and works.

20th Century British Art

|
London