new-york

John Walker

Knoedler & Company

John Walker’s new paintings seem predicated on esthetic ambition. One can imagine Walker having asked himself, “Can I take a passing visual fancy as slight as something seen behind closed, sleepy eyelids and develop it until it seems to open onto the reach and density of obsession?”

The panoramic vastness of these paintings makes the conceit plausible, as do Walker’s unprepossessing hues—the pinks and browns of faded postcards from out West—and the two principal figures he takes up each time: 1) a broad smear of pinkish/brownish paint rising like a jet of thick muddy water and falling like the “slide” of one title; and 2) big white things bearing big thick dots, mostly red. Either as forms or schematic elements of landscape or still life, or allusions to things in the world, neither figure provides much to express or ponder.

Take the white things, as Henny Youngman might have said. As

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.