Until around 1930, Walker focused on Southwestern subjects for his representational landscapes and floral compositions in oil and watercolor. Walker became interested in Modernist painting styles during the late 1920s and early 1930s when he was associating with other artists in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (including Gina [Schnaufer] Knee, James Morris, and William Lumpkins) who shared this interest.
In the early 1930s Walker began to abstract landscapes studies that led him to create non-objective canvases based on color, rhythm, and design. Walker’s shift was brought about, in part, by a study of Kandinsky’s early work (the 1908-1915 period), which also concentrated on abstracted landscape motifs, and by his awareness of Kandinsky’s Bauhaus works.
Stuart Walker was an original member of the Transcendental Painting Group founded in 1938 in Santa Fe. The members were Raymond Jonson, William Lumpkins, Emil Bisttram, Robert Gribbroek, Lawren Harris, Florence Miller, Agnes Pelton, H. Towner Pierce, and Walker. Walker developed a distinctive style with affinities to Art Deco and demonstrated a concern with strong structural elements that mixed geometric figures with more organic ones.
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