Born in Birmingham in in 1939, Walker studied at the Moseley School of Art and later, the Birmingham School of Art. In the late 1960’s he taught painting at the Royal College of Art and in 1969, won the Harkness Fellowship, which took him to New York, where he became a visiting artist at Columbia University and thereafter became Professor of Fine Art at Yale.

Walker then went to live in Australia, where he became Dean of the Victoria College of the arts in Melbourne. Now Professor of Painting at Boston University in America he lives and works in Maine.

For more than a decade from the 1970s British artist John Walker was one of the most influential and imitated painters working in the UK; he exhibited alongside Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, represented his country at the 1972 Biennale, had extensive survey shows at both 
the Tate and Hayward galleries and was short-listed for the first Turner Prize in 1984.