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Wil Barnet: A Retrospective in Pictures
Will Barnet.
DENNIS, MA.-The Cape Cod Museum of Art presents Wil Barnet: A Retrospective in Pictures, on view though February 26. Will Barnet is a prominent American artist who grew up during the 30’s and 40’s, studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and taught at the Art Students League. He enjoyed great popularity during the 70’s and 80’s. His work is about people and relationships. The New England environment and his family have always been strong influences in Will Barnet’s work.

This CCMA exhibition includes many original handmade silkscreens as well as reproductions of the artists’ oil paintings, gouaches, and prints of the last 60 years.

In the early 1930’s Barnet studied and worked at the Art Students League in New York and his subjects were often the people of New York going about their daily lives. During the late thirties and throughout the forties his family became his main subjects. In the late forties, Barnet joined the “American Abstract Artists.” He said that his artwork “was devoted almost entirely to the formal abstract aspects of painting, and preoccupation with the two dimensional reality of the surface and the play of form and color, “ yet even then he did not abandon the figure as subject entirely. Barnet said, “…the human form has in no way been obliterated by abstract art but rather has assumed a new place in painting, more direct, more dynamic and closer to the peculiar quality of our time with its particular tensions.”

When Barnet returned to representational forms in the seventies, his work took on a new clarity of design as he reduced or eliminated many details of his subjects. This exhibition represents an opportunity to study art posters created by and about one artist.

Barnet’s works are included in collections of major museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, and MFA, Boston.

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