Born in 1939
John Walker is regarded as one of the most accomplished British artists of his generation, whose work is characterised by a constant search for new ideas and influences. He began his art training at Birmingham College of Art (1955-1960) and the at the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere in Paris (1960-1961). His early work showed the influence of abstract expressionism and post-painterly abstraction but later revealed allusions to earlier masters such as Goya, Manet and Matisse; his abstract, illusionist paintings sometimes make reference to literary as well as art historical sources.
Since the 1970s he has worked extensively in America with a period in Australia when, following a residency during 1979 and 1980, he was appointed Dean of the Melbourne Victoria College of the Arts. His work is included in numerous public collections in America, Australia, the UK and elsewhere in Europe. He is currently Head of the Graduate Painting Programme at Boston University in the USA.
Awards and fellowships include the John Moores Painting Prize (1976), the Gregory Fellowship at the University of Leeds(1967-1969), the Guggenhein Fellowship (1981) and the Benjamin Altman Prize, New York, 2001; he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1985.