and Butter Paintings
The Sunday Times
17 September 2017
Walton’s still lifes of milk jugs, biscuits and bread are remarkably
detailed and reassuringly timeless, painted in a classic style that
borders on photorealist. After graduating from the National College
of Art and Design in 1993, Walton trained in Florence under an Italian
Renaissance model that requires students to master traditional drawing
and painting techniques before embarking on experimentation. Walton
paints portraits, landscapes and various types of still life, including
vanitas works. The works here are small, solid, skilled paintings
with a homely feel, depicting a single chocolate sweet in a golden
wrapper, or a glass of wine. He is particularly accomplished at catching
the mottled surface of pear skins or the bloom on a bunch of grapes.
Each food object is set in clean space against a plain backdrop. Occasionally,
as in Cake and Brown Bread, there’s a reflective surface beneath,
on which Walton can further demonstrate his realist painting skills.
This is about painting as a pure pursuit, and a concentrated depiction
of everyday domestic objects. It’s a back-to-basics kind of
show, refreshing in its simplicity, if also a little empty for it.
- Cristín Leach