NEWS

Utopia Art Sydney has represented John R Walker for over 25 years and is always happy to handle any enquiry about the artist and his work. The gallery is located at 2 Danks St Waterloo Sydney NSW Australia.

Utopia Art Sydney stages regular exhibitions of John R Walker’s paintings and works on paper and maintains a stockroom of his work.  For more information, please contact Utopia Art Sydney email here or phone +61 2 9699 2900.

  John R Walker

New Work solo exhibition

5-26 August 2017   utopia art sydney

Opening Saturday 5 August

 

Saturday 1 April: opening of Utopia Art Sydney’s NEW space

72 Henderson Rd Alexandria 2015
tuesday – saturday 10 – 5
by appointment, all welcome

 

Been busy….

The Mandarin – a serious and respected Australian public sector forum – recently published as article I co-authored with economist, Nicholas Gruen on the artist resale royalty scheme:

Artists’ scheme: a good idea at the time, till it dodged own appraisal.

Definitely worth a read. It was picked up by another policy forum here:

Resale royalty for art – when general principles collide with the reality of policy design

John R Walker 'Cornucopia' Invitation

photographer Sean Davey

 

 

Artist talk: John R Walker @ S H Ervin Gallery, Saturday 28 August, 3pm.

 

The Salon des Refusés  S H Ervin Gallery  16 July to 18 September 2016

'Flood Creek Approaching Summer II' 2015, archival oil on polyester, 168.5 x 269 cm

‘Flood Creek Approaching Summer II’ 2015, archival oil on polyester, 168.5 x 269 cm

Country and Western: Landscape re-imagined 1988-2013 touring to 2017

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery 8  Jan – 6 March

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery  19 March – 8 May

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery  13 May – 3 July

Orange Regional Gallery  9 July to 28 August

Cairns Regional Gallery  16 September – 13 November

Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory  26 Nov – 19 March 2017

 

The Drawing Room   Tamworth Regional Gallery    6 February to 19 March 2016

 

Here I give thanks…. Utopia Art Sydney   28 October to 21 November 2015

UTOPIA ART SYDNEY

special opening invitation
John R Walker
Here I give thanks
28 October – 21 November 2015

please join us to celebrate with the artist
Wednesday 28 October 5.30-7.30pm
to be opened by Glenn Barkley

Flood Creek summer 2014, concertina chinese book, gouache and ink on chinese paper

Flood Creek summer 2014, concertina chinese book, gouache and ink on chinese paper

The Trembling Bridge... for Andrew, October 2015

The Trembling Bridge… for Andrew, October 2015

 

2015 Wynne Prize finalist  Art Gallery of New South Wales       17 July to 27 September 2015 

Wynne2015

Flood Creek approaching summer 2014, archival oil on polyester canvas.

 

Country and Western: Landscape re-imagined 1988-2013 @ Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville   24 July – 20 September 2015 and touring through 2015-16

Coming to S H Ervin Gallery, @ National Trust Observatory Hill, Sydney 30 October to 6 December 2015

 

"The Dry Dam, Bedervale" 2004 archival oil on polyester canvas 190.5 x 199 cm. Orange Regional Gallery Collection.

“The Dry Dam, Bedervale” 2004 archival oil on polyester canvas 190.5 x 199 cm. Orange Regional Gallery Collection.

John R Walker: Here I give thanks… Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra  2 July – 9 August 2015

Andrew Sayers, Drill Hall Gallery  insightful opening Address

 DHG JRW #1

Curated by Glenn Barkley, this major survey show entitled, ‘Here I give thanks’ will showcase John R Walker’s work in Canberra offering a fresh insight into John’s work and including some new and previously unexhibited canvasses.

Location: Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley St, Acton (ANU) Canberra

Open: Wednesday to Sunday 12 – 5pm

If you’re coming to Canberra, here’s a great new app: The Canberra Guide

 DHG JRW&ASayers

John R Walker and Andrew Sayers at the opening of Here I give thanks

JRWtext

Save these July dates!

Exhibition: John R Walker: Here I give thanks…

Opening: Thursday 2 July @ 6pm, launched by Andrew Sayers AM

Event: Saturday 4 July @ 2pm, Discussion between Curator, Glenn Barkley and Artist, John R Walker 

Location: Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley St, Acton (ANU) Canberra

If you’re coming to Canberra, here’s a great new app: The Canberra Guide

Plus…

National Portrait Gallery (NPG) – All that fall on until 26 July and free admission

National Gallery of Australia (NGA) – Story of Rama: Indian miniatures from the National Museum, New Delhi

 

Curated by Glenn Barkley, this major survey show entitled, ‘Here I give thanks’ will showcase John R Walker’s work in Canberra offering a fresh insight into John’s work and including some new and previously un-exhibited canvasses. If you would like to know more about this exhibition or would like to receive an invitation, please go to ‘Contact’ heading in the above menu list, click on drop down ‘Enquiries’ and send your information.Or contact Drill Hall Gallery or  Utopia Art Sydney (details above).

But wait..there’s more…here’s a tempting little taste of what’s to come from The Curators Department.

For accommodation and other information: Visit Canberra

There’s lots to do and see in Canberra in July and early August: ballooning, truffle festival time and other great exhibitions, especially All that fall at the National Portrait Gallery (because Anne Sanders and Chris Chapman curated it!).

 

"Six Days in Bundanon and I Give Thanks to Boyd" 2001 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 210 cm.

“Six Days in Bundanon and I Give Thanks to Boyd” 2001 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 210 cm.

 

 The Curators’ Department visits the studio

IMG_2080

 

John R Walker @ Artbank

Shoalhaven Ridge 2001, oil on canvas, 9 panels. Artbank Collection, currently leased to a client in ACT.

Shoalhaven Ridge 2001, oil on canvas, 9 panels. Artbank Collection.

Currently leased to a major departmental client in Canberra.

 

John R Walker @ Parliament House, Canberra

JRW Bouddi

Bouddi 1987, Parliament House Art Collection, purchased 1988. Currently on display.

 

Chroma: The Jim Cobb Gift @ Orange Regional Gallery

ORG Chroma

Currently on: includes a number of my major works including, Dry Dam 2004 (left). View the online catalogue.

 

Upcoming exhibitions 2014-2015

John R Walker: ‘I give thanks’ @ Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University  3 July – 10 August 2015

Country and Western: Landscape re-imagined 1988-2013 @ Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville   24 July – 20 September 2015 and touring.

Chroma: The Jim Cobb Gift @ Orange Regional Gallery 24 January to 29 March 2015: http://www.org.nsw.gov.au/

Drawing Out: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial  @ Art Gallery of New South Wales  21 November 2014 to 26 January 2015: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/dobell-australian-drawing-biennial/

John R Walker: Site @ Moree Plains Gallery  4 October to 14 Novmber 2014:  http://www.moreeplainsgallery.org.au/contact-us.html

Amaze Gallery @ State Library of New South Wales current: visit SLNSW Curio

 

Drawing Out: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennale

“I’m not sure that I really do anything else but draw.’’ Walker views painting as another form of drawing, rejecting the idea that his sketches are merely preliminary studies. He says he looks at the landscape intensively but draws from memory rather than direct observation. ‘‘ It’s a matter of accumulating enough material in mind until it somehow starts cooking of its own accord,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s only when the image tells me what it wants to do, that it takes off.’’     Quote from John McDonald’s article, “Hand and Heart” in Sat 15 November  Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian 8 November 2014, images in the forthcoming Drawing Out: Dobell Australian Drawning Biennial @ AGSNW (see above).   See Sharon Vergis’ article: “Drawing conclusions: the lost art”

Untitled 2010 JRW                13062 The Darling River - Near Capon Shearing Shed

Untitled 2010 gouache on paper                                                          The Darling River near Capon Shearing Shed  2013 gouache on paper

AGNSWinstall

John R Walker installation, Drawing Out: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennale, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Congratulations!

Friday 17 Oct 2014 @ 9.45am AEST: to the person from the Netherlands who just clocked as the 10,000th view and the 3,035th viewer!  That’s 10,000 views in just over 12 months; averaging 233 views per month and just over 3 pages per viewer.

 

John R Walker: Site  @ Moree Plains Gallery

4 October to 14 November 2014

"Parched" 2006 archival oil on polyester canvas 183.5 x 331 cm.

“Parched” 2006 archival oil on polyester canvas 183.5 x 331 cm.

“In 1985 one of the first works of art I selected for Canberra’s Parliament House Art Program was by John R Walker. The painting was called Bouddi and hung in the foyer on the first floor. Walker was in his twenties and had a studio on the premises that would become Utopia Art Sydney in 1988. I was greatly impressed by this young artist and his work”.  Katrina Rumley, Director, Moree Plains Gallery 2014.

 

 Walker Works @ Orange Base Hospital

Orange Regional Hospital

Hollow Tree, Bundanon 2001 and Dry Dam 2004 on display at Orange Base Hospital. According to the curator, many patients and visitors remember these works from the Terroir: big land pictures exhibition at Orange Regional Gallery in March-April this year.

 

 
Now here’s a thought while in Sydney CBD:
Art Gallery of New South Wales and State Library of New South Wales are
a pleasant and quick 5 min walk through the Domain from each other.
Visit both  to see John R Walker’s works and grab a coffee!

 

Now on – Amaze Gallery @ State Library of New South Wales

'Corrigan's Bay' 2002 concertina artist book gouache and ink on chinese paper (partially unfolded). Collection State Library of New South Wales.

‘Corrigan’s Bay’ 2002 concertina artist book gouache and ink on chinese paper (partially unfolded). Collection State Library of New South Wales.

 

'Trees' 2003 concertina artist book gouache and ink on chinese paper (partially unfolded). Collection State Library of New South Wales.

‘Trees’ 2003 concertina artist book gouache and ink on chinese paper (partially unfolded). Collection State Library of New South Wales.

 

2014 Wynne Prize finalist @ Art Gallery of New South Wales

John R Walker’s  painting Darling at Kalyanka is one of the finalist works in the forthcoming Wynne Prize for Landscape Painting. Go and have a look; its on until the end of September.

The Darling at Kalyanka, archival oil on polyester, 178 x 186 cm.

The Darling at Kalyanka, archival oil on polyester, 178 x 186 cm.

 

‘the end of all our exploring’    online catalogue

JRW UAS opening 220314

terroir big land pictures       online catalogue

JRW ORG verso.00001                                       

Location: Orange Regional Gallery, Byng St, Orange NSW 2800 Phone:(02) 6393 8136

Exhibition dates: 15 March to 27 April 2014

The opening featured superb wines courtesy of Stephen and Rhonda Doyle of Bloodwood Wines

Accommodation and tourism: http://www.visitorange.com.au/

terroir big land pictures is a major survey exhibition that focuses on a suite of very large works by John R Walker,  painted over the past 15 years as a big narrative of land, space and time: “I have sought to create images that give an immersive sense of being in the landscape and Orange Regional Gallery offers this experience to be surrounded by these large works.

Terroir is an opportunity to pause and look around us at the major preoccupations of John Walker in his maturity as a painter. The exhibition is akin to talking with the artist as we walk together through his landscape. We share his very active way of seeing, his emotional responses to the truths concealed in the landscape.”

© Andrew Sayers 2013,

 

 

December 2013

I have just found this poem by Marcelle Freiman on the http://wonderbookofpoetry.org site:

John R Walker - Tallaganda Ridge 2003

Tallaganda Ridge – after John R. Walker, Tallaganda Ridge 2003

From the green rift’s darkness,
its un-trodden damp, comes a nudge
of cold, ice-smell of solitude, stale water –
as if from the crevice of a body
in neglect – or hibernation:
the land’s gradient pulls, olive-grey as dusk,
its unfolding arm summons
rays of cold light to the horizon –
shadows disintegrate like broken leaves,
brilliant light edges the hills
with frost of ash like white ground glass:  
a paean for trees, their silvery bark,  
cool grey softness of their new-peeled limbs
stretched towards the rain-draught from the night.
© Marcelle Freiman

 

 

terroir big land pictures

a major survey exhibition of John R Walker’s large paintings

Orange Regional Gallery

opening on Saturday 15 March to 27 April 2014.

Public exhibition venues where it is possible to exhibit a suite of large paintings, some up to 5 metres long, in the one exhibition space are not common. Orange Regional Gallery is unusual in that it has a large gallery space for exhibiting these works together.  It offers  a rare opportunity to experience something special: a suite of very large paintings by John R Walker which have been made over almost a decade as a big narrative of land, place and time.

“I have sought to create images that give an immersive sense of being in the landscape and Orange Regional Gallery offers this experience to be surrounded by all these works.”

Orange as a city is a perfect weekend trip from Canberra and Sydney, offering as it does, great art, fine wine, excellent food, historic villages and glorious countryside. The exhibition will also coincide with the Orange FOOD week (4 – 13 April 2014).

The exhibition at Orange has its origins in the strong visceral responses of patients, visitors and medical staff at the Orange Base Hospital to the large painting, Dry Dam Bedervale 2004, hanging in the hospital foyer. Despite the painting being aggressively modernist and not at all traditional, people who have lived and worked on the land have instinctive, direct responses to the work.  Dry Dam Bedervale was painted at the height of the last big drought.

Walker’s neighbour in Braidwood, retired grazier Ian Wright, remarked on his first reading of Patrick White’s Tree of Man that he was startled by how much White knew about what real farming felt like. It is this experience of recognition that Walker’s paintings elicit in the viewer.

Orange Hospital JRW Dry Dam

Curator and art historian Andrew Sayers’s observation of the same painting confirms the public’s visceral responses to this work:

“Dry Dam, Bedervale has the apparent simplicity of an iconic image – a picture that could be seen repeated across Australia in the drought years of the early twenty-first century. Yet this is one of Walker’s most profound landscapes in which the quality of the paint has become one with its subject. Dry Dam, Bedervale weaves together many ways of manipulating the brush and the medium. On close analysis there is not one but several paint-qualities in this work. In the top third of the painting broad atmospheric strokes (light overlapping dark) evoke distant hill and cloud; below there is a thin topsoil of paint and, gouged into that ground is the dam – yellow, pink and white. The bottom of the dam is a stew of earth, like the very paint from which it is made – once wet, now drying.”

November 2013 News

Landscape, Utopia Art Sydney 2 – 23 November. Opening this Saturday.

New releases from the Doughboy series (scroll down to early September news)
 
Doughboys 2,3,4

 

Scroll down to bottom of page for more details on the forthcoming survey at Orange Regional Gallery, March – April  2014.

Early October 2013

Have just returned from an 11 day road trip – more than 2,800 kms – to Wilcannia, via Orange, Cobar and the Mt Grenfell’s Aboriginal ochre drawings – staying with artist-friend, now Kalyanka Station manager, Jonathan Throsby. We returned via Mutawintji, Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Mildura and Naranderra. Spent 5 days at Kalyanka Station, which runs about 14,000 Dorper sheep on 125,000 hectares and runs along the magnificent Darling River. I particularly remember the Leopard wood trees west of Wilcannia. These are trees that when young look like a barbed-wire tangle, however, when the trunk has developed to more than 12 feet, the ‘barbed-wire’ defences against browsers are dispensed with. These trees are reminders of the megafauna that used to browse these ancient plains. The trees protected themselves against giant kangaroos that could reach to about 10 feet. Once the trees got higher than the browsers could reach, there was no longer any need for the defences. Despite the fact that these giant browsers have been extinct for about 40,000 years, the Leopard trees still remember…. you can never be too sure!!

Darling-Murray confluence

Confluence of the Darling and Murray River systems at Wentworth, 550kms downstream from the Darling at Kalyanka.

Capon Shearing Shed OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Manager's House, Kalyanka Station, Wilcannia

Manager’s House, Kalyanka Station, Wilcannia

There are a lot of ruins out this way. I am reminded of Shelley’s poem ‘Ozymandias’:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’
 

Late September 2013

Attended the opening of Roy Jackson’s retrospective at The Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra. It is a wonderfully curated and comprehensive exhibition put together by Sioux Garside and under the superb direction of the gallery director, Terence Maloon. Great turn up from Sydney – collectors, artists and friends – in honour of Roy who died in July this year. His oldest friend, UK artist Mick Rooney read one of his favourite Basho poems.  This one is my favourite Basho poem (from The records of a travel worn satchel) and for me sums up what it is to be an artist:

In this mortal frame of mine which is made of a hundred bones and nine orifices there is something, and this something is called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind. This something in me took to writing poetry years ago, merely to amuse itself at first, but finally making it its lifelong business. It must be admitted, however, that there were times when it sank into such dejection that it was almost ready to drop its pursuit, or again times when it was so puffed up with pride that it exulted in vain victories over the others. Indeed, ever since it began to write poetry, it has never found peace with itself, always wavering between doubts of one kind and another. At one time it wanted to gain security by entering the service of a court, and at another it wished to measure the depth of its ignorance by trying to be a scholar, but it was prevented from either because of its unquenchable love of poetry. The fact is, it knows no other art than the art of writing poetry, and therefore, it hangs on to it more or less blindly.

Early September Spring 2013

I’ve been walking around an area called Dough Boy about 25 kms from Braidwood – granite and sheep country – inspiration for my next body of work. The weather last week was gloriously unseasonal; warm to hot, gentle winds, crystal clear days. Here I am with my little gaz cooker and billy, brewing a cuppa.

DoughboyHillJRW     DoughboyHill

Today, September 12, cycled to the Braidwood Stockyards, left the bike and climbed 2/3 of the way up Mt Gillamatong, the major landmark that frames the town of Braidwood.  Another glorious morning, although a bit of an inversion layer meant that there was a slight haze in the air, and the wind was cool! Part way up the dirt road towards the paddock there is one of those wonderful ‘Budgie apartment blocks’ – my photo doesn’t give enough details but there are several breeding pairs of different kinds of birds nested in its generous boles and branches. Reminded me of the tree I painted while at Boyd’s Bundanon in 2001.

 

Gilly Tree apart-2

"Hollow Tree" 2001 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 208 cm. Orange Regional Gallery Collection.

“Hollow Tree” 2001 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 208 cm. Chroma Collection at Orange Regional Gallery  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August launch and announcement

 

 

 

terroir big land pictures

a major survey exhibition of John R Walker’s large paintings

Orange Regional Gallery

opening on Saturday 15 March to 27 April 2014.

Public exhibition venues where it is possible to exhibit a suite of large paintings, some up to 5 metres long, in the one exhibition space are not common. Orange Regional Gallery is unusual in that it has a large gallery space for exhibiting these works together.  It offers  a rare opportunity to experience something special: a suite of very large paintings by John R Walker which have been made over almost a decade as a big narrative of land, place and time.

“I have sought to create images that give an immersive sense of being in the landscape and Orange Regional Gallery offers this experience to be surrounded by all these works.”

Orange as a city is a perfect weekend trip from Canberra and Sydney, offering as it does, great art, fine wine, excellent food, historic villages and glorious countryside. The exhibition will also coincide with the Orange FOOD week (4 – 13 April 2014).

The exhibition at Orange has its origins in the strong visceral responses of patients, visitors and medical staff at the Orange Base Hospital to the large painting, Dry Dam Bedervale 2004, hanging in the hospital foyer. Despite the painting being aggressively modernist and not at all traditional, people who have lived and worked on the land have instinctive, direct responses to the work.  Dry Dam Bedervale was painted at the height of the last big drought.

Walker’s neighbour in Braidwood, retired grazier Ian Wright, remarked on his first reading of Patrick White’s Tree of Man that he was startled by how much White knew about what real farming felt like. It is this experience of recognition that Walker’s paintings elicit in the viewer.

Orange Hospital JRW Dry Dam

Curator and art historian Andrew Sayers’s observation of the same painting confirms the public’s visceral responses to this work:

“Dry Dam, Bedervale has the apparent simplicity of an iconic image – a picture that could be seen repeated across Australia in the drought years of the early twenty-first century. Yet this is one of Walker’s most profound landscapes in which the quality of the paint has become one with its subject. Dry Dam, Bedervale weaves together many ways of manipulating the brush and the medium. On close analysis there is not one but several paint-qualities in this work. In the top third of the painting broad atmospheric strokes (light overlapping dark) evoke distant hill and cloud; below there is a thin topsoil of paint and, gouged into that ground is the dam – yellow, pink and white. The bottom of the dam is a stew of earth, like the very paint from which it is made – once wet, now drying.”

 

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