Walt Johnston (1932-2018) was a contemporary realist. He looked at everything in the most modern way, saw the underlying abstract form, then brought that vision to a stunning reality as a painting using the most ancient means. The result was always the same, a picture so complete it is often mistaken for a photograph!
Walt was born in Washington DC in 1932. The son of a successful architect, he learned to draw at a very early age, drawing not just to describe an object or a place or a person but to find the truth of the work. That search for the truth was a journey of exploration that ends (or began) with a thorough report in the form of a painting. Thus his work retains a poignant, linear quality very much in the tradition of Homer, Hopper, and Wyeth.
During World War 2 the family was moved to Illinois, where Walt studied at the Chicago Art Institute and was earning national recognition as early as 1948. Later he studied and taught with Eliot O’Hara, the famous watercolorist.
His work was always shown in the best galleries, and can still be found in a satisfying number of museums and hundreds private collections world wide.
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