Caroline Walker’s large canvases and intimate panels depict anonymous women in settings that blur the boundaries between public and private. Walker’s paintings are a lens for the everyday lives of women, and her portraits of diverse subjects tell their story through the spaces they inhabit. Each of Walker’s series conveys a distinct sense oftime and place: from the undisguised luxury and classdynamics of beauty parlors in her series Painted Ladies, to the humanistic portraits of refugees and asylum seekers in Home (commissioned by Kettle’s Yard, UK), to scenes of anonymous women at work framed by the architecture of London in service.

In her recent artworks, Walker turns her focus to her immediate surroundings. She explores the boundary between being an observer – that is preserving the “objective” eye of an outsider – and magnifying the experience of a place which has become part of the fabric ofher life. They are conceived as a reflection on community and how the anonymous people we encounter become characters in our own stories. Her subjects include a neighbor working in her garden, the local drycleaner and a pharmacy sales assistant, all of whom are connected within a discrete area of the sprawling London metropolis. Walker describes small movements of daily existence and encapsulates the corners of life which are often overlooked but nonetheless vital, written and erased from history over and over again. They also serve as a kind of self-portrait by recording the artist’s journey through the places she frequents.

Walker has received wide acclaim for her portrayals of women as works of social commentary, although itis her ability to distill viewpoints from familiar settings and her talent as a colorist that first impact viewers of her paintings. The complexities of her subjects’ lives filter through to the surface and coalesce in imagesthat both fulfill the senses and speak to poignant moments of human experience. As a cohesive body of work, Walker’s paintings explore the performance of gender identity, femininity, and question the norms of depicting women and the female form across a range of socio-economic contexts. 

Caroline Walker (b. 1982, Dunfermline, UK) currently lives and works in London (UK), where she completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include: Nurture, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (UK); Women Observed, K11, Shanghai (CN)Lisa, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (UK); Caroline Walker: Birth Reflections, The Fitzrovia Chapel, London (UK) in 2022; Windows, KM21, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Women's work, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (UK); Nearby, GRIMM, New York, NY (US) in 2021. Selected group exhibitions include: The Painted Room, curated by Caroline Walker, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK); PUBLIC PRIVATE, Pond Society, Shanghai (CN); Traces of Displacement, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (UK); Finding Family, Foundling Museum, London (UK) in 2023; From Near and Far: Collage and Figuration in the Contemporary Age, curated by Katy Hessel, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (UK); the British Art Show 9, Wolverhampton; Manchester and Plymouth (UK); A Female Gaze, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham (UK) in 2022;The Rules of Art?, National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff (UK); Reflections beyond the Surface, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam (NL) in 2021; Everyday Heroes, Hayward Gallery, London (UK) in 2020.

Walker is represented in a number of public collections including: Aïshti Foundation (LB); Arts Council of England (UK); AkzoNobel Art Foundation (NL); The British Museum (UK); Dallas Museum of Art, TX (US); He Art Museum (CN); High Museum of Art, GA (US); Huamao Beijing Foundation (CN); Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL (US); ING Collection (NL); Jimenez-Colon Collection (PR); Kistefos Museum (NO); Kolon Group Collection (KR); Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Museum Voorlinden (NL); National Museum Wales (UK); Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL (US); The Rachofsky Collection, TX (US); Rosenblum Collection (FR); Royal College of Art (UK); Saatchi Collection (UK); Shetland Islands Council (UK); Sifang Art Museum (CN); The University of Cambridge (UK); The UK Government Art Collection (UK); University of Warwick (UK); Yale University Art Gallery, CT (US) and Woong Yeul Lee Collection (KR).