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Writer: Brian Shawver
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Release: Immediate

UI Museum of Art will show retrospective of the work of George Walker

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will exhibit a retrospective of the work of painter George Walker, an emeritus professor at the UI who served on the faculty of the School of Art and Art History for 31 years.

The exhibition will be on view in the Carver Gallery of the museum from March 14 to May 3 and will contain more than 30 paintings, drawings, collages and artistic configurations representing Walker's career.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, March 13 at the museum. Both the reception and the exhibition will be open to the public free of charge.

Walker will present a gallery tour of the exhibition at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, as part of the museum's "Perspectives" series.

Throughout his tenure on the UI faculty, Walker pursued an active and successful career as an artist. Although he considers himself primarily a painter, he has also produced collages, constructions, and sculptures. Works in the exhibition will represent his dedication to a variety of forms, as well as his career-long concern with color.

Many of Walker's paintings are based on overlapping colors, made possible by a special transparent acrylic paint that lends itself well to blending. Walker makes his own brushes, which allows him to control the width of color applications. In overlapping shapes he creates a rich variety of hues with only a few basic colors. Although this technique occurs only in his more recent production, Walker's art has focused on color throughout his career.

Walker said, "I don't think I've really changed styles, although in 31 years you're bound to see some changes. Everything I've done, it seems to me, has had the same general concerns, such as an overriding focus on the positioning of color on the canvas, the overall configuration of the images, and the relationships between colors."

One series of six recent drawings included in the exhibition, the "Mediterranean Series," emphasizes Walker's interest in Mediterranean themes. Walker served as a soldier in Italy during World War II, and later returned to study at the Acadamia Delle Belle Arte in Rome. The drawings combine images evoking ancient and modern Mediterranean civilizations, homages to artists of the 20th century, and American comic strip characters, among other themes.

Walker has participated in ten international exhibitions, and in more than 80 one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States. His work is included in numerous public and private collections. After his recent retirement he found a studio just outside of Iowa City and plans to remain in the area.

Walker said, "After 31 years of teaching, you can't help but miss having close contact with students, but being retired should, in theory, allow me more time to focus on my art."

M.C. Ginsberg, Objects of Art of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1997-98 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.

3/6/98