To mark the 100th birthday of pioneering painter, printmaker, and educator Will Barnet (born May 25, 1911), this exhibition of nearly fifty works explores the momentous evolution of Barnet’s art from realism to abstraction during one of the most distinguished careers in American art. Barnet’s paintings, drawings, and prints are in major museums around the world — and at the age of 100, he is still creating the works of a true American master.
Barnet’s career as an artist and America’s foremost printmaker has evolved from 1930s social realism to 1940s cubism to 1950s geometric abstraction, and since 1961, figurative realism. “I have lived through a lot of difficult periods: abstract expressionism, minimalism and so on,” Barnet said, in thinking back. Barnet’s highly original work builds upon the foundation of his Indian Space abstract works of the 1950s, based upon Native American-inspired organic and geometric pictograph forms within a flat, seamless space. In the 1960s, Barnet’s work shifted from abstraction to figurative work, when he created his most iconic and beloved works.
This exhibition of more than 50 works demonstrates Barnet’s continuous capacity for reinvention and new perspectives, even today in his 100th year. Will Barnet At 100 is organized by The Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, which has represented Barnet since 1973.