Santa Fe, NM (PRWEB) September 22, 2013
Mobiles have long been a fascination for artist, Ivan Barnett, and he returns to them periodically. "Abstraction" presents his most recent mobiles and also introduces photographs captured on a trip to China last year. This is Barnett's sixth Patina exhibition and the latest in a career that spans more than four decades. The exhibition opens December 6 and runs through December 29, 2013.
Evolving from earlier works, Barnett’s new mobiles are composed using abstract shapes cut from thin sheets of toothy, oxidized steel. He pigments them flat black and sparingly applies a carefully mixed color palette. Each mobile is a composition of pure design.
His interest in design is also reflected in the photography. Barnett’s images are close ups of ordinary features encountered in China’s urbanscapes. He shows us a detail of an aged, crackled tarp or painted sidewalk whose scuffed and marred surface takes on a painterly patina. We see how his eye is drawn to shape, color and composition, the same fascination he explores through his mobiles.
After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art In 1969, Barnett was drafted into the Army and worked as an illustrator at the Pentagon. Upon discharge, he moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where he began his artist life in earnest. He rose to prominence with a series of weather vanes based upon early American ones found throughout the region and today is known as one of the first contemporary artists to freshly interpret the American folk idiom.
Barnett has been active in the field of craft since 1972 when he first exhibited at one of the early American Craft Council shows. Since then, he has worked as an artist, writer, consultant, event organizer, board member, juror, panelist and gallerist. His contributions to the field of American craft are significant and his reputation within craft continuously expands.
Barnett’s training in fine art was rigorous and formal, and his standards are strict. “I think great art is ‘great’ for certain basic, classical reasons. There is a reason that there are ‘great works’ and they’re great because of universal principles of composition, of light, movement, proportion and scale. These are the same principles that determine greatness in music, poetry and architecture.”
He speaks of the artists who inspire him with deep admiration, Arthur Dove, Marcel Duchamps, Arshile Gorky, Henri Matisse and Alexander Calder, to name a few. “I feel as though I’ve made them my teachers. When I read their journals, I’m transported. I experience a deep desire to return to a time when I could be with them…when artists flocked to those they loved and dug in and listened, and learned, all in an attempt to add something to the conversation.”
As director of Patina Gallery, Ivan Barnett attends to the myriad details of his gallery’s operation. He selects the artists, curates the objects, directs development and oversees communications and advertising. He also cleans windows, scours the sidewalk and serves coffee to his staff. First and foremost, though, he is an artist
Barnett’s exhibition opens December 6 and runs through December 29, 2013. An artist reception will be held December 6 from 5:00 – 7:00.
High res images of other mobiles are available: bill(at)patina-gallery(dot)com.