Will Barnet: A Timeless World
Painter and printmaker Will Barnet has actively participated in the New York art world for nearly 70 years. A leading figure in the Indian Space painting movement of the late 1940s, Barnet stressed the spatial structures of Northwest Coast Indian art. Throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, he made a series of hardedged, totemic abstractions marked by their “all-positive” space, which he described as austere, classical expressions of Indian culture. He then moved on to new art forms in the 1960s and 1970s, creating a series of family and art world portraits that achieved a remarkable balance between the formal demands of abstraction and the humanist aspects of representation.
Will Barnet: A Timeless World is the first substantial publications to unify Barnet’s prodigious output. Art historian Gail Stavitsky provides an overview of this artist’s entire career. Twig Johnson, the museum’s curator of Native American Art, discusses the relationship of Barnet’s work to this important indigenous artistic tradition. Jessica Nicoll, chief curator at the Portland Museum of Art, explores the profound impact of New England upon Barnet and his work. Many of Barnet’s works are beautifully reproduced in this catalog, containing 43 color and 20 black-and-white illustrations.