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Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man, 1926–2009
By Barbara Paca.
Antiguan artist and writer Frank Walter (1926–2009) was an eccentric character now considered to be vastly under-recognized. Intellectually brilliant, Walter entertained delusions of aristocratic grandeur, namely the belief that the white slave-owners in his family linked him to the noble houses of Europe. The self-styled “7th Prince of the West Indies, Lord of Follies and the Ding-a-Ding Nook” produced paintings that dealt with race, class and social identity, as well as abstract explorations of nuclear energy, portraits both real and imagined—including Hitler playing cricket and Prince Charles and Princess Diana as Adam and Eve—and miniature landscapes of Scotland, the country that he fell in love with during a visit in 1960. Walter typically painted in oil on rudimentary materials, with a marked immediacy and naivety. The first man of color to manage an Antiguan sugar plantation, Walter spent the last 25 years of his life in an isolated home in Antigua, surrounded by his writings, paintings and carvings. Coinciding with Antigua and Barbuda's inaugural National Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017, The Last Universal Man is the first comprehensive monograph of this important Caribbean artist. Defying categorization as an outsider or self-taught artist, Walter worked as a writer, composer, sculptor and painter. Barbara Paca, an art historian who also serves as Cultural Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, interviewed Walter over a seven-year period prior to his death, and provides insight and perspective into both the artist as a man and his prodigious body of work.
"Ascending Heaven's Steps. The Hand of God." (no date) is reproduced from 'Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man, 1926–2009.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
A publishing feat, beautifully cataloguing the artist’s work in a manner that is both deeply considered and exquisitely realized.
Antiguan Master Frank Walter Is a Revelation.
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/7/2018
“Abstract Shark and Three Spheres” (no date) is reproduced from Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man, 1926–2009, the first major monograph on the prolific, somewhat delusional mixed-race Antiguan artist and writer who insisted on his own high-born, Anglican identity—linking himself to figures such as Mary, Queen of Scotts and Adolf Hitler—despite a lifelong experience of racism and rejection by those he sought to impress. “Where he viewed himself as a white man, others saw a black man—creating a rupture between reality and fantasy that affected all areas of his life,” Nina Khruscheva writes. “As all artists of genius do, Walter foresaw the future, and he never lost hope that one day [the world would] see him as he wanted to be seen—as an artist who transformed his imperfect reality into a work of art.” continue to blog