The Ogunquit Museum of American Art presents 'John Walker: From Low Tide to High Tide'

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The Ogunquit Museum of American Art presents 'John Walker: From Low Tide to High Tide'
John Walker (b. 1939), Harrington Road Series #30, 2010. Oil on bingo card, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches © John Walker, courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York.

OGUNQUIT, ME.- On August 1, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art will present John Walker: From Low Tide to High Tide, an exhibition portraying the artist’s exploration of Maine coastal landscapes and the movement of the tides. The exhibition runs through October 31, 2022.

When John Walker first visited Maine, he could not paint the landscape. “It was too pretty, too scenic—I felt I couldn’t do anything with it.” However, walking near what eventually became his coastal home, he felt inspired by outgoing tides and the expansive mudflats left in their wake. Determined not to make “pretty” pictures, Walker began incorporating tidal mud into his abstract paintings that range in scale from the monumental to the minute.

“The paintings in this exhibition portray 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 sun on fast moving water, generously communicating his renewed optimism in a painting’s ability to take us to places we’ve not yet been.”

Walker’s striking paintings speak directly to a sense of place. “John Walker portrays his own unique experience of witnessing the tides along the Maine coastline,” said Amanda Lahikainen, PhD, Executive Director of Ogunquit Museum of American Art. “It is fitting to show these expressive works in the gallery overlooking our signature view of the Maine coast.”

Born in Birmingham, England in 1939, John Walker has received numerous awards and represented England in the 1972 Venice Biennale. Having exhibited both nationally and internationally, his work is in the permanent collections the Art Institute of Chicago; the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Whitney Museums in NYC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; the Tate Gallery in London and countless other museums. Having taught in England, Australia, and China, Walker retired in 2015 as Professor Emerita from Boston University and now lives and works in South Bristol, Maine.

John Walker: From Low Tide to High Tide was organized for the Ogunquit Museum of American Art by Katherine French, Guest Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a 34-page, full-color exhibition catalog with a critical essay by Katherine French and is available in the Museum Shop.

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