WALTON FORD


WALTON FORD

Walton Ford is known for his monumental and extremely detailed watercolours depicting wild animals. Fuelled by his fascination with their relationship to man, Ford’s work elaborates on the tradition of natural history painting, whilst infusing it with historical facts and surreal imaginings. The artist interprets and transforms stories and images, drawing from history, literature, underground comic books, legends, myths, popular films, as well as visits to natural history museums, among other sources. Ford says he seeks ‘all these different ways people are put in contact with wild animals they don’t fully understand’.

‘Ford’s creatures have neither the expressions nor the postures found in the old treatises of natural history. Never domesticated, but too intelligent to be only wild, these unclassifiable animals belong to a third genre. Which, in a way, is what Ford aspires to do: as a contemporary artist unlike others, going against the current of the conceptual doxa, developing a kind of “pulp art” which combines in novel ways classical references and the codes of mass culture.

C. D’Anthenaise and J. Neutres, Walton Ford, exh. cat., Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris; Paris: Flammarion, 2015

Image: Spasmodic Affection, 2019, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper, 273.1 x 152.4 cm.; 107 1/2 x 60 in. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

Artist Talk

Biography


VITA

1960

Born in Larchmont, USA


1982

BFA, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
European Honors Program, Rhode Island  School of Design, Rome

Lives and works in New York, USA

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Alturas Foundation, Boston

Bowdoin College Museum of Art Brunswick

Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester

De Cordova Museum, Lincoln

Montclair Art Museum

Museum of Modern Art, New York

New Britain Museum of American Art

New York Public Library  

Princeton Art Museum 

San Antonio Museum of Art 

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C

Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence

University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024

Lion of God

Ateneo Veneto, Venice

Birds and Beasts of the Studio
Morgan Library and Museum, New York


2023

A Very Rare Sight
Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris


2022

Graphic Works
Lyndsey Ingram, London

Gagosian Gallery, New York


2021

Aquarelle
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin


2018

Barbary
Kasmin, New York
 
New Watercolors
Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz (catalogue)


2017

Calafia
Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (catalogue)


2015

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (catalogue)


2014

Watercolors
Kasmin Gallery, New York


2011

I don't like to look at him, Jack. It makes me think of that awful day on the island
Kasmin Gallery, New York


2010

Bestiarium
Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, travelled to:
Albertina, Vienna;
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (catalogue)


2009

New Work
Kasmin Gallery, New York


2008

Kasmin Gallery, New York


2007

Tigers of Wrath: Watercolors by Walton Ford
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio


2006

Tigers of Wrath: Watercolors by Walton Ford
Brooklyn Museum, New York (catalogue)
 
Works on Paper
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco


2005

Kasmin Gallery, New York


2004

Bitter Gulfs
Kasmin Gallery at 511, New York

New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain

Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles


2002

Kasmin Gallery, New York


2000

Kasmin Gallery, New York

Brutal Beauty
Bowdin College Museum of Art, Brunswick
 

1999

University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach (catalogue)

Kohn-Turner Gallery, Los Angeles


1998

Kasmin Gallery, New York

Aspen Art Museum 


1997

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem (catalogue)

Kasmin Gallery, New York


1993

Procrustean Beds
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, in collaboration with Michael Klein, Inc., New York
 
The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
 
Virginia Beach Center for The Arts 


1991

Bess Cutler Gallery, Santa Monica

Bess Cutler Gallery, New York


1990

The Blood Remembers
Bess Cutler Gallery, New York

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023

Animal Kingdom
Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Skärhamn

2022

This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire


2021

Birds of the Northeast: Gulls to Great Auks
Fairfield University Art Museum

Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States, Jackson


2020

Galerie Max Hetzler, London


2019

Nature's Nation: American Art and Environment
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Person to Person
Forum Gallery, New York

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World
The Getty Center, Los Angeles


2018

History in the Making
Alan Cristea Gallery, London


2017

Recent Acquisitions Winter 2018
Galerie Maximillian, Aspen

Naturalia
Kasmin Gallery, New York


2016

On the Origin of Art
Museum of Old And New Art, Hobart, Tasmania

Animal on est mal: La collection du Musée de la Chasse et de la Natural revisitée par Richard Fauguet
Communauté d’agglomération de Marne et Gondoire, Bussy-Saint-Martin

The Nest
Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah
 
A Big Enough Umbrella
Wingate Studio, New York


2015

Printer’s Proof: Thirty Years at Wingate Studio
Wingate Studio, Boston

The Annual Exhibition
Childs Gallery, Boston


2014

It’s Just a Shot Away – The Rolling Stones in Photographs
TASCHEN, Los Angeles
 
Infinite Histories
Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque


2013

One Great Night in November
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


2012

The Bear Necessities
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco

Grey Full
Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York


2011

Winged Shadows: Life Among Birds
North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks
 
Traum und Realität
Galerie Siegel-Springmann, Freiburg


2010

The Art of Giving
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco


2008

Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities
Museum of Modern Art, New York


2006

Going Ape: Confronting Animals in Contemporary Art
De Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln
 
Rare Specimen
The Arsenal Gallery, New York


2005

Social Realisms
The Park School, Brooklandville


2004

For the Birds
Artspace, New Haven
 
Political Nature
The Whitney Museum, New York

Natural Histories: Realism Revisited
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art 

Animals & Us: The Animal in Contemporary Art
The Galerie St. Etienne, New York

Birdspace: A Post-Audubon Artists Aviary
Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, travelled to:
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach;
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers;
McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown;
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson

 
2003

Creatures That Stir, Symbol & Satire in Animals of Imagination
Palo Alto Art Center

The Great Drawing Show
Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles


2002

One Thousand Words
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan

Acquiring Taste
Real Art Ways, Hartford

Resisting Categories: Prints
The Gallery of South Orange, South Orange
 
Hot and New in 2002
Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York


2001

Natural Histories: Artists Forage in Science and Nature
Schmidt Center Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton


2000

Deja Vu: Reworking the Past
Katonah Museum of Art


1999

Collectors Gallery XXXIII
The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
 
The Great Drawing Show 1550–1999
Kohn Turner Gallery, Los Angeles
 
Summer Show: 1999
Kasmin Gallery, New York


1998

Wild Thing: Artists Views of the Animal World
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco


1997

Summer
Kasmin Gallery, New York

Animal Tales: Contemporary Bestiary and Animal Painting
Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford


1996

Landscapes
Kasmin Gallery, New York

Heroic Painting, curated by Susan Lubowsky
S.E.C.C.A., Winston-Salem
 
Classics Revisited
Winston Wachter Fine Art, New York


1995

Next of Kin
List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge
 
A Vital Matrix
Domestic Setting, Los Angeles

Walton Ford, Jimmie Durham
Ho Gallery, Hong Kong

Americana
Grand Salon, New York

 
1994

Ashley Bickerton, Jimmie Durham, Walton Ford, Jeff Wall
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York
 
Points of Interest, Points of Departure
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco

American Landscape
Michael Klein, Inc., New York

History 101: The Re-Search for Family
Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis
 

1993

Living with Art: the collection of Ellyn & Saul Dennison
The Morris Museum, Morristown

Kurswechsel at Transart Exhibitions
Michael Klein, Inc., Cologne


1992

The Landscape as Stage
Locks Gallery, Philadelphia


1991

Junge Americanische und Deutsche Malerei
Galerie Schulze, Cologne

Artists Books from A to B: Contemporary Artists’ Books
Center for Arts Books Exhibition, Harper Collins, New York

In the Looking Glass: Contemporary Narrative Paintings
MINT Museum of ART, Charlotte

Bess Cutler Gallery, New York


1990

A Sense of Place
Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

Critical Revisions
Bess Cutler Gallery, New York

Collectors Choice of Emerging Artists–1990
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York

Brut 90
White Columns, New York

 
1989

American Pi(e)
Bess Cutler Gallery, New York


1988

Un Regard Autre
Farideh Cadot Gallery, Paris

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY


Monographs

Taschen (Ed.): Walton Ford. Pancha Tantra, Cologne, 4th edition, 2020

Vito Schnabel Gallery (Ed.): Walton Ford: Pantherausbruch, St. Moritz, 2018

Gagosian Gallery (Ed.): Walton Ford. Calafia, New York, 2017

Taschen (Ed.): Paleoart: Visions of the Prehistoric Past, New York, 2017

Taschen America (Ed.): Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra, Los Angeles, 2015

Flammarion (Ed.): Walton Ford, Paris, 2015

Humlebæk (Ed.): Walton Ford, Copenhagen, 2010 

Taschen (Ed.): Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra, Cologne, 2007

Brooklyn Museum (Ed.): Tigers of Wrath: Watercolours by Walton Ford, New York, 2006

Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Ed.): Walton Ford: Tigers of Wrath, Horses of Instruction, New York, 2002

Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Ed.): Walton Ford: Brutal Beauty, Brunswick, 2000

University Art Museum, California State University (Ed.): Avatars: the watercolors of Walton Ford, Long Beach, 1999

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Ed.): Walton Ford, Winston-Salem, 1997


Others

Phaidon Press Limited (Ed.): The Lives of Artists, London, 2019

Marta Gnyp / Skira (Eds.): You, Me and Art: Artists in the 21st Century, Milan, 2019

Alan Cristea Gallery (Ed.): History in the Making, London, 2018

Phaidon Press Limited / The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Eds.): The artist project: what artists see when they look at art, London, 2017

Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Ed.): Artists for artists: 51st anniversary exhibition to benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, 2014

Hans Werner Holzwarth / Taschen (Eds.): Art Now Vol. 4., Cologne, 2013

Hans Werner Holzwarth / Taschen (Eds.): 100 Contemporary Artists, Cologne, 2012

Hans Werner Holzwarth / Taschen (Eds.): Art Now Vol. 3., Cologne, 2009

Whitney Museum of American Art (Ed.): Political nature: works on paper by Walton Ford, Trenton Ford, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Frank Moore and Stephanie Syjuco, New York, 2004 

Contemporary Arts Center / University of Washington Press (Eds.): Birdspace: a post-Audubon artists aviary, Seattle, 2004 

Harry N. Abrams (Ed.): Art 21: art in the twenty-first century, Vol. 2., New York, 2003

Harry N. Abrams (Ed.): Art 21: art in the twenty-first century, New York, 2001

MIT List Visual Arts Center (Ed.): Next of kin: Looking at Great Apes, Cambridge, 1995

Contemporary Arts Center (Ed.): Walton Ford and Julie Jones, Cincinnati, 1993

Farideh Cadot Gallery (Ed.): Un regard autre: Walton Ford, Gwen Akin, David Hodges, Allan Ludwig, New York, 1987

Videos


Publications


Walton Ford: Aquarelle

Exhibition Poster
2021

€ 20.00

Selected Press


Sotheby's November 2022

Download PDF

Apollo Magazine October 2018

Download PDF

Zoo Magazine Spring 2018

Download PDF

The Brooklyn Rail November 2017

Download PDF

The New Yorker January 2009

Download PDF

Artforum International January 1992

Download PDF