Robert Walker, Griffintown / Montréal en mutation — James D. Campbell

[Summer 2020]

An Interview by James D. Campbell

Robert Walker was born in Montreal in 1945. He graduated in visual arts from Sir George Williams University in the late 1960s. In 1975, he attended a workshop given by American photographer Lee Friedlander that would be transformative, and he embraced colour street photography as an aesthetic that he is exploring to this day.

In 1978, he moved to New York City, where he made Times Square a worthy thematic subject of his lens. His first book, New York Inside Out, was published in 1984 with an introduction by William S. Burroughs. He has exhibited widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe. His images have appeared in a variety of publications, including Color is Power (Thames & Hudson, 2000), which included a wide array of street photographs taken over three decades in Montreal, New York, Warsaw, Paris, Rome, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Walker’s exhibition Griffintown is nothing short of a revelation: a living portrait of seismic shifts in one of Montreal’s oldest neighbourhoods, poised between dilapidation and squalor, on the one hand, and bright, shiny, new utopian architecture, on the other. The tension (often chromatic) between past and present is felt in twenty large-format photographs (supplemented by a projection of a hundred others), with documentary photographs culled from the Museum’s collection.

Griffintown is the first in a new program of photographic commissions at the McCord called Evolving Montreal that aims to document Montreal’s continuing urban makeover…

See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 115 – THE MARCH OF THE WORLD