The Calling

The Calling, lithograph, 8" x 14"

Artist, Michael Barnes, has studied and worked in some of the most prestigious printmaking programs in the country, among them: the graduate program at the University of Iowa, the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. He is presently on faculty at the University of Northern Illinois at DeKalb where he has taught since 1998.

Barnes' singular imagery incorporates hybridized creatures and humans in visually ambiguous landscapes. Masks, megaphones, leglessness, armlessness, headlessness(!), cords that lead to nowhere, isolated nests, props and crutches all serve to underscore the futility of each character's attempt to communicate. It's a dark, compelling world, and it is the artist's ability to elude a literal interpretation of his work that is its great strength. Potent images that address the environment, war, personal and cultural relationships are all part of Barnes' artistic arsenal, while allowing the viewer to puzzle over his images' significance is his ultimate intention.

Text and image from Cambell Steel Gallery in Marion Iowa.

This page was first displayed
on November 15, 2011

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