September 6, 2012

Exhibition runs from: 23 September – 21 October 2012

‘The Oil Baron’s Club’ is an ambitious new installation by John Walter at The SMART Gallery. The project combines painting, wallpaper, print and sculpture in a project that marries the artist’s cosmology together with the local oil industry.

Part of the project involved making links between the artist, the gallery and other institutions in Aberdeen such as Gray’s School of Art and Peacock Visual Arts; the former where the artist has given a talk and the latter with whom the artist will make a limited edition silkscreen print.

Walter has designed two vinyl prints, one for the walls and one for the floor, on top of which will be hung digital drawings and new paintings. On the floor will be a cardboard sculpture of an oil well. At the opening Walter will perform in costume singing recent songs and serving drinks. The remnants of this performance will remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition as an installation.

The title ‘The Oil Baron’s Club’ refers to the bar in the TV show Dallas, a longstanding theme within Walter’s work, an unlikely conjunctive between the austerity of Aberdeen’s granite and Walter’s “maximal” aesthetic; the oil industry serves as the glue mediating imagery and narratives that become hooks for the psychedelic and surreal musings of Walter’s imagination.

We would like to thank the Patrons of The SMART Gallery for supporting this project.


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