Aaron Payne Fine Art is pleased to present the first one person exhibition of works by Stuart Walker an exhibition and retrospective he never had during his lifetime. During his short career, Walker exhibited with the Transcendental Painting Group, of which he was a founding member.
Stuart Walker was born in Lancaster, Kentucky in 1904. Soon afterwards the family moved to an Indiana farm, and he attended high school before joining the Navy at age fifteen. During his term in the Navy he became very ill from a strep infection that developed into rheumatic fever and ultimately seriously damaged his heart.
Following the Navy, Walker studied art at John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, and later with Frank Schoonover in Wilmington, Delaware. Seeking a milder climate because of his chronic health condition, Walker moved to Albuquerque in 1925 where he attended classes at The University of New Mexico (UNM).
By the early 1930's, Stuart Walker began to shift his focus of study to abstract art. In many of his paintings, Walker used anonymous titles, perhaps in an effort to avoid any reference to the objective world. Fellow members of the Transcendental Painting Group (Emil Bisttram, Robert Gribbroek, Lawren Harris, Raymond Jonson, William Lumpkins, Florence Miller, Agnes Pelton, H. Towner Pierce) believed Walker had just begun to realize his artistic promise when he died.
This exhibition will feature over fifty artworks from the Stuart Walker Family Collection. There are paintings and works on paper from all periods of his life, including his early representational works and his Transcendental masterpieces. Most of these works have never been exhibited, and none have been on the market since before 1940. We hope this exhibition will shed a new light on this modernist master who died in Albuquerque in 1940 at age 35.
(Images: Stuart Walker, Composition No. 59, 1939, Oil on linen, 91.7 x 66 cm; No. 29,circa 1936-1939, Watercolor on paper, 20.1 x 14.7 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Aaron Payne Fine Art)