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John Walker

4 December 2019 — 23 February 2020

John Walker (b. 1939 Birmingham) was the first artist to show at Ikon when it moved to new premises above New Street Station in 1972, the same year in which he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. At that time his work was purely abstract, prior to his development of a more representational style, epitomised by his Alba paintings, shown at the Hayward Gallery in 1985.

This exhibition will feature new “anti-scenic” paintings, inspired by the landscape of Maine where Walker is now living, especially locations that are polluted, neglected or abandoned. His connection to the natural world in which he works is evident in his tendency to mix natural materials—mostly mud—into his paints. Stripes and zigzags, frequently occurring, are graphic versions of the changing rhythms of how the ocean meets the shore, as waves or tide.