14 January 2020 – 5 March 2020
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This provided a highlights tour of nearly 100 years of art in an exhibition of works from the collection of Alexander Walker (1930–2003), longstanding film critic for London's Evening Standard newspaper and prolific collector of modern and contemporary prints and drawings. The exhibition is now on tour.
Walker surrounded himself with works from his collection in every room in his Maida Vale flat, including his kitchen and bathroom.
He bought works of art for pleasure rather than financial gain and generously left his collection of more than 200 works on paper to the British Museum when he died. This was the first exhibition in over 10 years to showcase this art through the lens of his collection.
The exhibition included 22 prints and drawings by artists ranging from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Vija Celmins. It demonstrated Walker's interest in artists' working methods and in transitional pieces that showed artists developing new styles or subjects, or experimenting with new techniques.
The exhibition aimed to trace the development of 20th-century art in Europe and America through key pieces in Walker's collection, which he viewed as a record of his own art history education. It also demonstrated Walker's own tastes from the figurative to the abstract and considered what motivates collectors like Walker to surround themselves with art.
With the support of the Dorset Foundation, the exhibition will travel to four venues from April 2020 until May 2021.