Spotlight: Will Barnet (American; 1911-2012), Reflection, 1971

Will Barnet (American; 1911-2012), Reflection, 1971. Color Serigraph (Edition: 177/225), 22 x 14 ¼ inches, Franco Collection, Auburn University at Montgomery.

Catalogue entry by Jordan Cossey

The following artwork was created by Will Barnet, an American artist from Massachusetts, who was born in 1911 and passed away in 2012. Aspiring to be an artist from the age of only 10, Will studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston under the wing of Phillip Leslie Hale.  Throughout Barnet’s career, he switched his style with the many movements that came and went over the course of the 1900s. From the 1930s to the 50s, Barnet experimented with Social Realism, Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, and Representational Minimalism.

One of the many Representational Minimalist artworks Barnet produced is called “Reflection.”  Completed in 1971, the color serigraph stands 22 inches tall by 14.25 inches wide.  The silkscreen features two women, and/or one woman and one girl, wearing all black gowns staring into a mirrored wall.  Upon reviewing such a work of art, American Historian James Thomas Flexner said: “Barnett’s work makes us experience the interplay between the personal and universal.  While remaining representational, the simple elegance of the figures and their surfaces reflect this exploration with abstraction.”

Sources:

Will Barnet, Reflection (1971) , Artwise Brooklyn, https://www.artsy.net/artwork/will-barnet-reflection-4

“Will Barnet,” https://davidbarnettgallery.com/artist/will-barnet

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