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FRANK WALTER

A Retrospective
16 May — 15 November 2020

In dialogue with JOHN AKOMFRAH, KHALIK ALLAH, KADER ATTIA, MARCEL BROODTHAERS, JULIEN CREUZET, BIRGIT HEIN, ISAAC JULIEN, KAPWANI KIWANGA, CAROLYN LAZARD, JULIA PHILLIPS, HOWARDENA PINDELL, ROSEMARIE TROCKEL

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.” James Baldwin

There is no classic Frank Walter. His painterly spectrum is free and wide. His view is his own. His work seems to be in opposition to the permanent ascriptions in terms of racialisation and nation to which he was exposed throughout his life. His cosmological paintings shine transcendently, his abstract works are systematic, his figurative painting captivates in its individuality and his landscapes grow stronger in clear abstractions. All works are of an unusual transparency and directness. The concentration, which is also due to the body size of the works, opens an undisguised account. As complex as Frank Walter's themes are, his materials are different in this way. He created works on wood, masonite, cardboard, paper, linoleum or the backs of photographs, painted and drew with oil colors, tempera, watercolors, colored pencils and pencils, shellac, glitter. When he did not paint, he wrote, when he did not write, he made sound recordings. Walter created to an incredible degree, which is nevertheless visible and perceptible in his work. In art alone he was free. Free from the brutality that lay in the attributions of the normative, which was permanently present outside of his artistic work. For Frank Walter, the subversive act that this made appropriate was the only way to raise the goodness, to lead a self-determined and self-defined life of his own.
The work of the Antigua and Barbuda-born artist Frank Walter (1926-2009) comprises a series of paintings, drawings, sculptures and writings that are currently being presented in a museum for the first time.
The works of John Akomfrah, Khalik Allah, Kader Attia, Marcel Broodthaers, Birgit Hein, Isaac Julien, Julia Phillips, Howardena Pindell and Rosemarie Trockel bear witness to the history and presence of colonialism in the Caribbean as well as to the intellectual-historical contexts of colonial and post-colonial thought. They thematize the optical regime of racism, which is also expressed in the exoticizing gaze, and describe the complexity of identity, claim and racialization. Julien Creuzet, Kapwani Kiwanga and Carolyn Lazard have created new-fangled works especially for the exhibition.

Source: (website MMK)

> MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst

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