Pulp Fiction is an exhibition of smaller works on paper that are complete ideas but often the prelude to larger works on board or canvas. This exhibition will be King‚s third visit to Argentina. In 2000 he taught masters classes at the prestigious Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires. A year and a half later, between 9-11 and the fall of the Argentine economy, his first exhibition was held as a cultural exchange at the Centro Cultural Recoleta sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council and the City of Buenos Aires The exhibition was titled Drinking Sky Breathing Sea: Walter King's Internal Scenarios (2001). This exhibition then traveled to the Columbus College of Art and Design the following summer and became the basis for a small book of pictures and poems called Internal Scenarios: A Painterly and Poetic Collaboration by Walter King and Edward Lense published by Puddinghouse. The second exhibition was a group show at Artempresa (Cordoba) called "Horses for Raul".
His latest venture "Pulp Fiction" will feature works on paper primarily from 2004. About 25 works including three recent series entitled "Dilemmas', "Houses" and "I Saw Two Men Dancing" as well as a few works from the 2001 "Internal Scenarios" series will be featured.
Mr. King's figurative works, whether sensuously colored or a symphony of black, gray and white tonalities, are about that sense of a world knit together beyond our physical senses which addresses both the yearning for the spiritual communion and the individual consequences of our relations. His dream like atmospheres are amniotic, his compositions are stage like, his archetypal actors play symbolically against a backdrop of repeated images and motifs- often created by those same figures to envision a metaphorically holistic sensibility.
Speaking for his brother, Tim King (also a painter) says "Currently Walter has been exploiting the use of stencil and spray paint. This quasi-graphic technique allows a repetition and patterning of a single image usually of symbolic figures and animals. The cutouts can be rotated and flipped. They dissolve over repeated sprayings with caked on layers of paint so that you will see sharper and then fuzzier repetitions of the same figure. The figures can be opaque and then translucent and double imagery can transpire at once through overlap. But these are not the visual diarrhea usually connected with modern montage. They are spatial, gravitationally oriented to a ground plane even when figures seem to defy gravity. And they are full of spiritual light."
In King's stencil process it is interesting to note a directed play on the definition of the word archetype. In that definition archetype is: something that served as the model or pattern for other things of the same type. About this work Walter writes:
"Against a stenciled sky and sea, my figures swim and breathe. These amniotic atmospheres were conceived as illustrations for an unwritten story. The iconography is limited to a few stenciled beings often repeated and overlapping to create a larger landscape. In that landscape figures become ground; subject and object often exchange places; form and content cannot be separated. "
King, though very conscious of form, is not a formalist. And though his work is full of content he is not literary in the accepted sense. It is a very old idea that form and content are one. Yet these works have a very postmodern quality about them while not requiring a manifesto to be understood. (Postmodern is a term King disputes) King says "Isms are tags that are hung on works that share a moment in time with similar devices, style, subject matter, philosophy or set of intentions so that historians, critics, dealers and collectors, all of whom are secondary to the work itself, will know what to say. These tags are primarily 'hype' or 'talking points' and they have nothing but the most shallow bearing on the work. If the tags were that important we could just 'read' the tags without needing the visual illustration. Most artists understand the value of hype and so learn to practice it with aplomb. But what is written about a work by a critic or historian is as suspect as what any artist may testify about themselves. Visual art can only hint and suggest using common cues we have all come to perceive from the world. I give titles to my work to open a poetic mindset. Only by looking at and contemplating the work can one communicate with it's unique truths."
In a sense King, who at times has been called an artistic dinosaur and at other times apace with current movements, challenges prevalent contemporary ideas about what is and is not artistically valid. He is a dyed in the wool painter, a painters painter if you will. But one who is as aware of ancient images and meanings as he is of modern dilemmas and ideas. King has never for a moment doubted that painting is still alive and well - and living in Cordoba Argentina during the month of July!
Walter has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2001. You can see more of Walter King's art at: absolutearts.com/walterking
7 x 5 inches