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Kew John Walker

Artist

John Walker Birmingham, 1939 –

Date 1980
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas
Dimensions

154 x 124 cm

Inventory number MO.91.147
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

When he was in New York, Walker came into contact with the American abstract currents, the planarity of which, however, he combined with forms that elicit the sense of perspective. His ideas rely on the tension between the physical experience of the painted surface and the space-creating capacity of the surface. He works with various techniques at the same time. While making a painting, he would produce preliminary, or subsequent drawings or prints of various motifs. The starting point for the series of Ten Large Screenprints (MO.91.98) was a collage of 1965 showing a sprawling cross hatching and a folded form. The blurred surface is the enlarged photo reproduction of a later drawing. He often renders the paintings in his studio in drawing in a certain phase of the creative process or after their completion. The themes of his drawings are the paintings (MO.91.48)
The distinct ambivalent forms against an undefinable background, the uncertainty of spatial relations constitute the work’s bases. In the pictures of 1979-80 (Kew) a single polygonal form, a window motif used earlier in a different context, is the protagonist. The skeleton of the picture reminding one of an architectural interior is a recurrent motif in Tilson’s pictures. The tension is generated by the fact that he stops on the verge of abstraction, at the point at which abstract forms begin to assume features of identifiable motifs.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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