Life Class, 1990
Oil stick, acrylic, and watercolor on paper
Professor Emeritus Walter Barker taught in the University of North Carolina Greensboro Department of Art from 1966 until his retirement in 1992. Barker also attended graduate studies at UNCG in the late 1940’s, during the time it was Woman’s College. He continued to teach as Professor Emeritus through 1999, giving talks devoted to his life and work, growth as an artist, and conducting graduate studio visits and critiques. Barker’s work spanned a long and distinguished career. His open-minded approach to art-making led him to assimilate a variety of styles, based on his mentor, Max Beckmann, Abstract Expressionism, and his own interest in history and literature. In the late 80’s, he turned to narrative works that explored his youth. Life Class references a life drawing class, and embraces abstract spatial concepts while retaining a narrative content. Barker’s work is represented in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNCG.