Simply put, Walt Johnston 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 OHara NA, 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.
Competitions/ Exhibitions/ Awards
2006 Commission for Permanent Collection, Albuquerque Museum
2005 Cityscape Purchase for Permanent Collection, Albuquerque Museum
2001 Commission for Permanent collection, Albuquerque Museum
1988 NM State Fair Professional Art Exhibit – Purchase Prize
1984 Boston Printmakers Annual Exhibition
1984 Audubon Artists Annual, NY – Murray Roth Memorial Prize
1984 Knickerbocker Artists Annual NY – William D Zahn Award
1974 NM State Fair Professional Art Exhibit – Purchase Prize
1972 Society of American Graphic Artists, Kennedy Galleries NY
1972 National Academy of Design NY, Annual Exhibition
1971 National Academy of Design NY, Annual Exhibition
1968 NM State Fair Professional Art Exhibit – Purchase Prize
1967 Butler Institute Of American Art, Annual Exhibition
1948 Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh, National Award
Many group and one-man shows are not listed, nor the newspaper or magazine articles,
or the books or anthologies in which his work is pictured.
Frankly, he never did keep track of those things...