Bill Barrett's sculptures belong to the classical tradition of American modernism where clarity of form and firmness of structure are coupled with the harmonious juxtaposition of the curvilinear. He expresses a sculptural consciousness of the organic, surfacing into elegant gestures that in their virtually liquid appearance indicate natural growth. His work is sensual and intuitive rather than ruled by an imposed logic. It floats through space, curving upward and outward, flirting with weight and gravity. Like much sculpture based on European traditions, Barrett's work carries with it a memory of the archaic.
Primarily known as a sculptor, Barrett is also a prolific painter, and this exhibition is a rare opportunity to view the harmony between bronze and canvas as well as the complementary nature of their aesthetic concepts.
Philip Palmedo, author of Bill Barrett, Evolution of a Sculptor, recognizes the influences that expressionism, Asian calligraphy, and surrealism has had on his work:
"Each phase of Barrett's evolution produced a series of significant works unified by a clear concept of form and technique. The grand theme of that evolution was the sculptor's search for an almost impossible synthesis between the tactile process of free modeling, the expressive gesture, and the craft of welding sheets of metal. Eventually, that reconciliation was accomplished through a combination of personal development, formal exploration, and technical invention. The resulting works, both lyrical and commanding, are some of the most appealing and beautifully crafted sculptures of our time."