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Painter John Walker: Colored Mud

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

I had the pleasure of sitting down to talk to the phenomenal painter John Walker. John is not only a painter whose paintings are poetic in their paint application but he is also an artist who cares about young painters. I had the privilege of studying with John at Boston University where we all were inspired by his words and awed by what paint can do.

John Walker was born 1939, in Birmingham, England. He studied at Birmingham College of Art (1956-1960), and continued his studies at The British School in Rome (1960-1961), and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris (1961-1963).

John Walker was a Gregory Fellow at Leeds University (1967-1969). He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to the United States (1969–70) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981. He has been artist-in-residence at Oxford University (1977–78), and at Monash University, Melbourne (1980). He also represented England at the 1972 Venice Biennale.

John has taught at the Royal College in London and at Yale University. In the 1980’s he was Dean of Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 to 2015, he taught at Boston University and is currently Professor Emeritus of Art and former head of the graduate program in Painting and Sculpture at Boston University School of Visual Arts.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in NY; The Phillips Collection in DC; The Tate Gallery, London; The Hayward Gallery in London; The Kunstverein, Hamburg; The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; and others.

His work can be found in museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery, Edinburgh; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.


The artist space that John started in 1985 on Gertrude Street, now known as Gertrude Contemporary-

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