John Walker was born in Birmingham, England in 1939. He studied at the Academie la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. After teaching for a number of years in England he was awarded the Harkness Fellowship to the United States.
Walker won the 1976 John Moores Painting Prize and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1985. After spending some time in Australia, Walker got a job at the Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne. He produced the Oceania series around this time, which incorporates elements of native Oceanic art. In 1985 he was dividing his time between the United States and Australia.
Walker expresses his spontaneous and energetic character through painterly organic forms. The dimension created by shapes and the rich textures in his work are expressive of Australian influence.
Walker’s work has been exhibited in major institutions throughout the world including the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery and Corcoran in Washington, D.C., the Tate and the National Gallery in London and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. A Theater of Recollection, paintings and prints by John Walker is traveling throughout the United States and Europe. This exhibition was exhibited at the University of Tampa, Scarfone Gallery in January 1999.
Influenced by his Australian experience, Walker uses the personal icons from paintings for rich lithographic monoprints. The STUDIO-f monoprints of 1994 exhibit the rich ochre; brown and black layering that creates a luminescent surface with subtle organic forms, vessels with dots of white or black.
John Walker has been a professor of graduate painting and director of the graduate painting program at Boston University since 1993. He resides and works in Boston and in Walpole, Maine.