Open, and Closed: The Book Art of John Frederick Walker
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
This exhibition includes a selection of one-of-a-kind mixed-media works, all of which derive from altered books, or book fragments, transformed into meditations on lost, missing, or destroyed information.
In some ways it was inevitable that books would become a focus of my art—but not simply because I’m also an author. Over the years I was immersed in various modes of minimalism, many of the artistic devices I gravitated towards then would eventually allow me to do more with volumes than write them.
My preoccupation with the division of pictorial space into diptychs and quadrants, the iteration of images and openings, all brought me to the book as a visual object. My mixed-media book pieces range from large, bifurcated abstract wall works to tiny, image-laden splayed and bolted volumes. All derive from actual books, or book fragments, radically altered.
John Frederick Walker completed his graduate studies at New York University, specializing in aesthetics and critical theory. He went on to pursue dual careers as an artist and writer, moving to Connecticut in 1985. Walker’s work has been exhibited nationally, and is in several public collections including the Yale University Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum Library, and the National Gallery of Art. He is also the author of the highly-praised A Certain Curve of Horn, an account of his search for an endangered species of antelope in war-torn Angola, and a history of the ivory trade, Ivory’s Ghosts.