John Walker b.1939
T01093 LESSON I 1968
Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 105×242 (266·5×614·5).
Purchased from the artist through the Axiom Gallery (Knapping Fund), 1968.
Exh: Hayward Gallery, 27 September–13 October, 1968 (7).
Lit: For a general account of the evolution of Walker's work see Richard Morphet, ‘John Walker's work since 1965’, in Studio International CLXXVII, September 1968, pp. 80–85, and Anne Seymour, ‘John Walker’, in Marks on a Canvas, catalogue of exhibition at Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, May–July 1969.
Painted in Leeds, at the beginning of Walker's second ‘Lesson’ series. Walker's first ‘Lesson’ series, painted in 1966, was of rhomboidal canvases with straight lines (on a black ground) as the only figuration; this earlier series was ‘about trying to describe solid forms entirely by linear means, in fact diagrammatic, hence the Blackboard look’ (letter from the artist dated 4 March 1969, from which all subsequent quotations are taken). Walker completed three ‘Lesson’ paintings in 1968, of which this is no. I, no. II belongs to the City Art Gallery, Leeds, and No. III is in his own possession. In 1969, he has so far completed nine, numbered in the series I to IX, 1969…