This exhibition is the first to comprehensively examine the work of American painter Robert Barnes, an artist who creates ambiguous, psychologically charged images that maintain a delicate balance between abstraction and representation. Using a method similar to psychoanalytic free-association, he paints forms that invariably coalesce into recognizable images, and as these accumulate associations, he develops a narrative context for them. The final results are painterly tableaus that are a skillful blend of abstract forms and literary and historical allusions. Barnes acknowledges the importance of modern literature for his work, and he cites James Joyce, Tristan Tzara, and other important modernist writers as major influences on his work.
The exhibition is a survey of Barnes’ career from the mid-1950’s to the present ? featuring 69 paintings, including oils, caseins, pastels, and watercolors.