Edition of 108
26 x 46 inches
Will Barnet (1911 - 2012) was an American artist, known for his stylized paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints, depicting human and animal figures, both in casual scenes of daily life and transcendent, dreamlike worlds. He was a teacher at the Art Students League in New York and an artist of the WPA. He was a key figure in New York’s Indian Space Painting movement of abstract and semi-abstract works, based on Native American art. Barnet’s works, often reference his own personal history, with images of his family and the New England environment where he grew up.
This image depicts Barnet's daughter, Ona skating with her young son, a composition he also rendered in graphite and etchings.
“Prints and printmaking held for me an early fascination. My first great inspiration at age 14 was Daumier and the example he set with his profound vision of life and his unequalled draftsmanship. As a painter, I concerned myself with ideas and aesthetics not permitting technique to overcome the concept in print making I found a wider, freer means of expression. My paintings and prints in the early years reflect the effect of social conditions on people. During the late 30s and 40s I explored the image of mother and child and the growth of a family themes to which I have returned throughout my career. The 50’s were devoted almost entirely to the formal aspect of painting and printmaking and pre-occupation with the two-dimensional reality of the surface and the play of form and color. Family and environment have always exerted a strong influence on me. When my daughter had a son, new motifs appeared almost immediately in my work. When change occurs, the resulting personal vision is logically formed from past experience I feel there is a consistency between all these decades despite different themes settings and plastic expressions.” – Will Barnet
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY