"FRANK WALTER. A RETROSPECTIVE" 16 March to 15 November 2020 at the MUSEUM MMK

 

There is no typical Frank Walter. His range as a painter is extensive and unfettered. His perspective is all his own. His oeuvre seems to stand in opposition to the permanent ascriptions he was subjected to throughout his lifetime, with respect to race and nation. His cosmological paintings have a transcendental glow, his abstract works are systematic, the individuality of his figurative painting is captivating, and his landscapes gain strength through their clear abstractions. All his works exhibit an unusual degree of clarity and directness. This sense of focus in his works, which also comes from their small size, offer us a way of approaching them directly.

Frank Walter, Untitled, o. J., Foto: Axel Schneider

The complexity of Walter’s subject matter is matched by the great variety of his materials. He created works on wood, Masonite, cardboard, paper, linoleum, and the backs of photographs, and he painted and drew with oil paint, tempera, watercolor, crayon, pencil, shellac, and glitter. When he was not painting, he wrote; when he was not writing, he made sound recordings.

The work of the native Antiguan and Barbudan artist Frank Walter (1926–2009) encompasses numerous paintings, drawings, sculptures, writings, and tape recordings that will here be on view in a museum for the first time. The works by John Akomfrah, Khalik Allah, Kader Attia, Marcel Broodthaers, Birgit Hein, Isaac Julien, Julia Phillips, Howardena Pindell and Rosemarie Trockel revolve around colonialism in the Caribbean in the past and present as well as the intellectual contexts
 of colonial and post-colonial thought. They address the visual regime of racism that also finds expression in the exoticizing gaze, and describe the complexities of identity, class and racialization. Julien Creuzet, Kapwani Kiwanga and Carolyn Lazard have produced new works specifically for the show.

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