John Yau reviews the exhibition Richard Walker: House Paintings at Alexandre Gallery, New York, on view through January 5, 2013.
Yau writes: "There is something decidedly virtuosic and yet powerfully modest in Walker’s synthesis of control and seeming casualness. He has applied thick dabs, short strokes, thinly painted rectangles, and a tangle of calligraphic lines to the sticky black surface with a light but firm touch. The viewer senses the time constraint, the unseen ticking clock pressuring the artist to make one decision after another. And this stress becomes a metaphor for time’s winged chariot. There is nothing coy or even charming about these paintings of darkened rooms in which bits of light come in through a window or are reflected from a laptop... Walker’s love of paint and painting is evident in these uncompromising works. I say uncompromising because an exhibition of largely black interiors challenges viewers to look slowly and carefully, which is not typical of the art world or even of much painting."