Portland Museum of Art

Portland, Maine

(207) 775-6148


Will Barnet Prints


The Blue Robe, 1971, etching and aquatint on Arches Cover paper, artist's proof, printed by Deli Sacilotto, New York, 23 5/16 x 29 7/8 inches, museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Collection, Portland Museum of Art

Will Barnet Prints, on view at the Portland Museum of Art from October 17, 1998 through January 23, 1999, surveys the impressive gaphic career of world-renowned painter Will Barnet.

Will Barnet Prints includes 36 of the artist's finest prints from the mid-1930s to the present, showcasing the range of Barnet's concerns as well as his mastery of print media from woodcut to lithography. As a graphic artist who knows the complexity of the printmaking process, Barnet's works are particularly noteworthy for their rich color and texture, taking full advantage of all that each print medium has to offer.

The style and content of Barnet's early prints reflect his interest in the lithographs of Honore Daumier, the great French printmaker who used scenes of common life as his subjects. By the 1940s, Barnet was well known as both a painter and a printmaker, and Barnet began to explore abstraction. While the compositions of works produced during his "Indian Space Period," (1950-1965) focus primarily on color and form, the works of this period continued to include the figure as the basic element. Barnet returned to overt figuration in the late 1960s, while retaining the elegant line, color, and spatial relationships ofhis more abstract work.

Barnet grew up in Beverly, Massachusetts, and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1930 he moved to New York and entered the Art Students League, where he began to seriously study printmaking. By 1936 he was established as a professional printer and the youngest instructor of graphic arts to ever hold faculty rank at the League. Most recently, Barnet was chosen as one the jurors for the Portland Museum of Arf Biennial exhibition on view at the Museum from November 5, 1998 through January 3, 1999.

rev. 11/26/10

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