The first time we presented Frank Walter’s work, in the spring of 2013 (the first time his work had ever been publicly shown) we did so in an exhibition titled 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', alongside the Texan shrimp fisherman; Forest Bess, and the Cornish fisherman turned scrap merchant; Alfred Wallis. Both, like Walter, were untrained artists of uncompromising vision who chose to live and work outside the boundaries of conventional society. Both made work that now holds an important place in the history of 20th century art.
Like Walter, Alfred Wallis would paint on whatever material came to hand: old boards and pieces of card; using house and yacht paint, with an immediacy and honesty that is rarely found in the work of supposedly more sophisticated painters. These were the qualities that so struck the artists Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood when they first saw him working at his kitchen table through an open window in the back streets of St Ives in the summer of 1928. When the young modernists returned to London they enthusiastically posted photographs of their own work to Wallis. Unimpressed, the old man promptly turned them over, made a painting of his own on the reverse, and sent them back.