Frith Street Gallery is delighted to present an intimate survey of works by Bill Walton, the first gallery exhibition dedicated to Walton outside of the US.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Walton briefly studied at the Institute of Design in Chicago before moving to Philadelphia in 1964 where he was a commercial printmaker. Interested in the materials used for printmaking – wood, lead, steel – more than the finished product, Walton began to make three-dimensional pieces after seeing an exhibition of sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Since then his sculptures have been recognised for their ability to achieve harmonious balance through contrasting elements positioned and combined with lyrical precision.
His treatment of found objects call upon a range of artistic disciplines such as painting, poetry, and sculpture. They harness the visual language of both Minimalism and assemblage, but transcend the boundaries of these movements and become idiosyncratic depictions of an interior world. Similarly, his drawings demonstrate a fine-tuned engagement with paper that echoes his origins as a printmaker. The fact that Walton never dated his works further informs their temporal complexity whilst existing as enduring relics to and for their maker.
The objects and ephemera used to compose his works were sourced from his surroundings in the studio as well as the natural landscape, and always harken a symbiotic relationship between these two domains. A testament to his multidisciplinary background, Walton’s uncanny approach to materials reflect a keen sensitivity that foreground an acute attentiveness to both time and place.
With special thanks to the Estate of Bill Walton and Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia.
Bill Walton (1931-2010) had his first exhibition in 1971 and over his long career exhibited in galleries and a variety of institutions across the United States including the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Lois Fernley Award which helped to support the publication of his 2006 monograph by Arcadia University. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Gallery and Wesley College.
Bill WaltonWest of Roulette #5, n.dCopper, wood, cotton41.91 x 9.84 x 5 cm
16.5 x 3.9 x 2 in
Bill WaltonNaples #6 - Window, n.dWood, paint21.59 x 25.4 x 2.5 cm
8.5 x 10 x 1 in
Bill WaltonConcentric, 1986Oil paint on aluminium with wood supports34.29 x 41.2 cm
13.5 x 16.2 in
Bill WaltonCannon, n.dPainting: graphite, gesso on canvas
Panel: wood, iron
Shelf: glass, copper94 x 218.4 x 12.7 cm (overall)
Bill WaltonIron Creek (#2), n.dOil paint on canvas with iron rod22.9 x 25.4 cm
9 x 10 in
Bill WaltonRed Dog/Irish Setter (Red Dog Silver), n.dPainted deck of cards, silver wire, graphite and varnish on paper25.4 x 43.2 x 2.5 cm
10 x 17 x 1 in
Bill WaltonWisteria Series, n.dWood, copper, wisteria15.2 x 38.1 x 45.7 cm
6 x 15 x 18 in
Bill WaltonThree Fold, n.dFolded linen, paint15.2 x 12.7 cm
6 x 5 in
Bill WaltonMedium Drawing #1, n.dCharcoal, pastel, paint on paper49.3 x 38.7 cm
19.4 x 15.2 in
Bill WaltonJacks Hill #1, n.dWood, aluminium, copper, primed cloth7.6 x 30.5 x 34.3 cm
3 x 12 x 13.5 in
Bill WaltonFolded Sheet Drawings (#1), n.dGesso, oil pastel, pastel, charcoal on paper74.9 x 56.5 cm (unframed)
Bill Walton2nd Floor Back (Wood, Leaf, Lead), n.dWood, brass leaf, lead7.6 x 14.6 x 31.11 cm
3 x 5.7 x 12.2 in
Bill WaltonMicha, n.dDrawing: paint, graphite on brown paper
Wall piece: lead ring with cedar block
Floor piece: wood, cloth, wire, copper, aluminiumDimensions variable
Bill WaltonSweet Lou and Marie #8, n.dPlywood, paper napkin, paint15.55 x 13.97 cm
6.1 x 5.5 in
Bill WaltonTwo fold (copper), n.dCopper14 x 12.7 cm
5.5 x 5 in
Bill WaltonEvening Creek Series (multiple #2), n.dAluminium, wood, brass6.35 x 7.9 x 5.4 cm
2.5 x 3.1 x 2.1 in
Bill Walton3 / 6 / 36, n.dFingernail polish and unknown medium on masonite3 panels, 22.86 x 19.05 cm (each)