Frank Walter, born in 1926 in the former British colony of Antigua in the Caribbean, produced an extraordinary complex of works during the second half of his life which continues to challenge aesthetic categories and definitions of genre. He expressed his artistic views in landscape paintings and portraits, wooden sculptures, photos, poems, musical pieces, audio recordings, autobiographical texts and essays on natural scientific and humanities-related topics. The Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) in Frankfurt/Main will now present a comprehensive retrospective and the world’s first institutional solo exhibition featuring the oeuvre of this artist, writer, philosopher and poet.
Walter’s graphic works represent an entirely novel way of depicting landscapes in the Caribbean region. They run counter to the picturesque “deformation” typical of the visual regime of the nascent tourism industry of the early 20th century, with which Antigua – under British control at the time – was subjected to additional heteronomy. In his works, Walter challenges such representation and creates new depictive forms. At the same time, the island’s colonial history runs deep within his own ancestry. As a descendent of former slaves and white European slave owners, Walter’s life story embodies the historical trauma of the transatlantic slave trade. In many of his self-portraits, he depicts himself as a white person, and in his writings and essays, he intensively explores questions of genealogy and historiography. The exhibition at the MMK aims to present a scientifically sound and comprehensively researched retrospective of Frank Walter’s multifaceted works. Additionally, the exhibition plans to illustrate the heterogeneity of artistic production in the Caribbean and continue to develop and expand its own collection, distinct from European and North American perspectives.
Artistic director: Susanne Pfeffer
Consulting curator: Barbara Paca
Artist: Frank Walter
16 May, 2020 to 1 November, 2020: Exhibition
MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
60311 Frankfurt am Main