I have long admired John Walker’s work for its unique combination of tough materialism and romantic lyricism. I recently met him in his studio at Boston University, where he is the head of the MFA program. My visit with Walker happened to take place on the Thursday after the Boston Marathon tragedy, and I spent Friday’s citywide lockdown with painters Gideon Bok and Meghan Brady.
In retrospect, my time with Walker feels like a complete experience, not exactly separate from the events, but certainly a place where painting can encapsulate and transmit the range of human drama and emotion. Walker’s painting is about this faith, in the mark, in the hand, and in abstract form.