Widely acclaimed visual artist Larry Walker is exhibiting for the first time in Cobb County at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. Larry Walker: Compositional Constructs with Social, Political, and Spiritual Overtones focuses on the study of Larry Walker’s work since 1990. The exhibition runs through Dec. 13.
“(Walker) often uses mixed materials and collage elements that represent ‘urban surfaces’ on the subjects of existentialism and social injustice. For those unfamiliar with the artwork of Larry Walker, MCMA seeks to introduce the artist’s work and story in a way that is both comprehensive and approachable. For those already acquainted or enamored with the work of Larry Walker, this exhibition will reinforce his relevance and importance in the history of art and aims to further his legacy,” said Madeline Beck, curator of Marietta Cobb Museum of Art.
The exhibition aims to enhance viewers’ perception of what exists around through current topical issues, like the COVID-19 pandemic. “Though his art career spans back to the 1950s, in order to best capture what the artist is most recently known for and how his art is responding to this very moment in time,” Beck said.
“Though this exhibition commentates on and tackles some difficult aspects of our society, the themes are overall quite autobiographical and uplifting. People that prefer representational artwork of scenes they recognize will be satisfied by Walker’s inspired recreations of urban facades. Then, those who prefer abstract, non-representational art will be pleased to see a wide variety of Walker’s mixed material abstractions and charcoal drawings of distorted figures,” Beck said.
Beck met Walker, the father of the famous artist, Kara Walker, in 2018 through Dennis Campay who was exhibiting at MCMA. “(Larry) Walker is a significant inspiration for Campay’s artwork and the artists have a longstanding friendship; Campay insisted I pursue exhibiting Larry Walker’s work,” Beck said.
Beck contacted Walker on his availability for an exhibition at the MCMA. “Shortly after, I visited Larry and Gwen Walker’s home in Stonecrest, GA for an intimate studio viewing and lunch with the artist, where we set in motion the planning for this exhibition,” Beck said.
Viewing Larry Walker's expansive, two-part retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia was a transformative moment for Beck. “I knew that this was a story and a body of work that needed to be shared with my community at MCMA. I did not want to repeat the broad retrospective exhibition at MOCA GA, so Walker and I decided the exhibition should focus on his more recent works (most work on exhibition was created in the last five years),” Beck said.
“The wisdom Walker communicates through his art lends perspective and depth to social, political, and spiritual conversations that have become all the more relevant in the period leading up to this exhibition.,” Beck said.
MCMA is located at 30 Atlanta St SE, Marietta, GA 30060. Visit https://mariettacobbartmuseum.org/ or call 770.528.1444.
Featured photo of Larry Walker courtesy of The Atlanta Contemporary. All other photography by Meg Robinson