The Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) presents John Walker: from low tide to high tide, an exhibition depicting the artist’s exploration of Maine’s coastal landscapes and the movement of the tides. The exhibition runs until October 31, 2022.
When John Walker first visited Maine, he could not paint the landscape. “It was too pretty, too picturesque – I felt there was nothing I could do with it.” However, walking near what eventually became his coastal home, he felt inspired by the receding tides and the vast mudflats left in their wake. Determined not to make “pretty” images, Walker began to incorporate tidal mud into his abstract paintings which range in scale from monumental to minute.
“The paintings in this exhibition depict John Walker’s experience when he sees the patterns of the tides and the reflections of light,” said Katherine French, guest curator. “They also seem to capture the zigzag reflection of the sun on fast-moving water, generously communicating his renewed optimism in a painting’s ability to take us to places we have yet to go.”
Walker’s striking paintings speak directly to a sense of place. “John Walker portrays his own unique experience of witnessing the tides along the coast of Maine,” said Amanda Lahikainen, PhD, executive director of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. “These expressive works are fitting to be shown in the gallery overlooking our signature view of the Maine coast.”
About the artist
Born in Birmingham, England in 1939, John Walker has received numerous awards and represented England at the Venice Biennale in 1972. Having exhibited both nationally and internationally, his work is part of the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA and the Whitney Museums in New York; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the National Gallery and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; the Tate Gallery in London and countless other museums. After teaching in England, Australia and China, Walker retired in 2015 as Professor Emeritus from Boston University and now lives and works in South Bristol, Maine.
John Walker: from low tide to high tide was curated for the Ogunquit Museum of American Art by Katherine French, Guest Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a 34-page color exhibition catalog with a critical essay by Katherine French and is available in the museum shop.