Study For Love Notes II

Study For Love Notes II, acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 8"

Growing up in California, William Barnes attended UCLA before studying painting at Drake with Jules Kirschenbaum. He then studied with Byron Burford in Iowa City, whose course in materials and techniques introduced him to egg tempera and casein, his major media since. Soon after his Iowa City period, signs appeared of what has become Barnes' signature style - landscapes noted for their "loneliness" by a local critic alternated with still-life studies of odd combinations of small objects. Recently, after sojourns in Tucson and Santa Fe, Barnes is bringing a warmer, more relaxed ambience to his exotic works.

Of the many Midwestern artists focusing on landscape and still-life compositions, Barnes creates compositions which seem to contain some mystery or situation beyond the sum of the visual parts revealed. Although obviously aware of artists of the past, Barnes approaches but skirts any direct links with the surrealist or trompe l’oeil genres. Occasionally defined as a “magic-realist,” Barnes remains at the edge of that definition, or slightly outside it. His early realistic work with simplified forms and subdued coloring suggested Hopper without deriving directly in any way. Early collages contained figures —unlike later work —in situations and settings reminiscent of illustrations for 19th century French or German novels.

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on June 21, 2005

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