Will Barnet (1911-2012, American)

Will Barnet Self portrait with cat

Self-Portrait with Cat

Will Barnet (1911-2012, American) born in Beverly, Massachusetts the son of a Russian immigrant, became interested in art at a very young age. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  and in 1930 studied at the Art Students’ League of New York and eventually became an instructor there. Known for his printmaking, most of his works document his own life including his wife, children and pets, integrating the personal and universal. The flat linear surfaces of his works hint at abstraction. His first works can be categorized as social realism because he set out to depict the struggles of those most affected by The Depression. In the 1940’s, Barnet became a key artist in the Indian Space Painting movement which was based on the abstract art of Native Americans and was also influenced by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell.  This was a natural move since Barnet had always been influenced by Picasso. However, by the 1960’s Barnet reverted back to his original style.

In his print Woman Reading, 1970, his wife Elena poses with their cat Madame Butterfly. Other of Barnet’s works include his cat Minou. Barnet is said to have dismissed any visitor to his studio if his feline did not approve of him/her. Clearly, Barnet was a cat lover.

 

Will Barnet, Woman REading in Bed with Cat, 1970

Woman Reading in Bed with Cat, 1970

In 2012, Barnet was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama, a crowning achievement to be placed amongst his numerous other awards.

Barnet is quoted as saying, “At the age of 10 or 12, I discovered that being an artist would give me an ability to create something which would live on after death.” He died at 101.

 

Young Woman with White Cat gouache painting Will Barnet

Young Woman with White Cat gouache painting

 

 

 

 

Anticipation, Will Barnet

Anticipation

 

 

Cat and Canary Serigraph Will Barnet

Cat and Canary

 

 

 

 

Will Barnet, Sense of Play

Sense of Play, 1975

 

 

Soliloquy serigraph of woman on rug with cat, 1972 Will Barnet

Soliloquy, serigraph of woman on rug with cat, 1972

 

 

Striped Socks drypoint etching of girl with cat Will Barnet

Striped Socks, drypoint etching of girl with cat

 

 

Woman and Cat on Rug, Will Barnet

Woman and Cat on Rug

 

Study for Self-Portrait (with wife and cat) Charcoal on vellum with traces of colored pencil, 1983, Will Barnet

Study for Self-Portrait (with wife and cat) Charcoal on vellum with traces of colored pencil, 1983

 

 

The Bannister lithograph of woman and cat, 1981 Will Barnet

The Bannister lithograph of woman and cat, 1981

 

 

The caller (cat in tree) lithograph, 1977 Will Barnet

The Caller (cat in tree) lithograph, 1977

 

 

The Doorway, Will Barnet

The Doorway

 

 

The Blue Robe etching and aquatint of woman with black cat, 1971Will Barnet

The Blue Robe etching, 1971

 

 

The Golden thread painting of cat and parrot and ball of yarn 1980

The Golden Thread, painting of cat and parrot and ball of yarn, 1980


The White Staircase seriograph of woman and black cat 1974, Will Barnet

The White Staircase seriograph of woman and black cat, 1974

 

 

Three Chairs oil painting, 1991–92 Will Barnet

Three Chairs oil painting, 1991–92

 

Three Chairs II (family with two birds and a cat) oil painting, 1995 Will Barnet

Three Chairs II (family with two birds and a cat) oil painting, 1995

 

 

Totem serigraph, 1982 Will Barnet

Totem serigraph, 1982

 

 

 

 

Two Cats (red chair), Will Barnet

Two Cats (red chair)

 

 

Waiting woodcut, Will Barnet

Waiting woodcut

 

 

Will Barnet - Cat Lover, 1987. Gouache on Vellum.

Cat Lover, 1987. Gouache on Vellum

 

Will Barnet - Minou-Study of Head, 1989. Charcoal and pencil on vellum. (Minou was Barnet's feline companion throughout many of his most prolific years.

Minou-Study of Head, 1989. Charcoal and pencil on vellum. (Minou was Barnet’s feline companion throughout many of his most prolific years.

 

 

Will Barnet - Study for Woman Cat and Yarn 1981

Study for Woman Cat and Yarn, 1981

 

 

Will Barnet The Blue Thread

The Blue Thread

 

 

Will Barnet (1911-2012) - Woman and Cat, 1979 - charcoal on vellum

Woman and Cat, 1979 – charcoal on vellum



 

Kiesler, Wife and Cat and Husband, Will Barnet

Kiesler, Wife and Cat and Husband

 

 

Will Barnet Untitled, 1984. probably Minou

Untitled, 1984.

 

 

Will Barnet Woman and Cat Play

Woman and Cat Play

 

 

Will Barnet, Chess

Chess

 

 

Will Barnet, Daughter Reading with Black Cat

Daughter Reading with Black Cat

 

 

Will Barnet, Interlude

Interlude

 

 

Will Barnet, Meditation and Mirror

Meditation and Mirror


Twilight etching and aquatint of woman reading to child and cat,1988 Will Barnet

Twilight etching and aquatint of woman reading to child and cat, 1988

 

 

Will Barnet, Playing with String

Playing with String

 

 

Will Barnet, Reading

Reading

 

 

Will Barnet, Red Aurora of Girl Reading and Black Cat, 1977

Red Aurora of Girl Reading and Black Cat, 1977

 

 

Will Barnet, The Sled

The Sled


Will Barnet, The Walk

The Walk

 

 

Will Barnet, Three Men with a White Cat on Motocycle

Three Men with a White Cat on Motorcycle

 

 

Will Barnet, Wife and Daughter with Cat

Wife and Daughter with Cat

 

 

Will Barnet, Woman Facing Right with Two Black Cats

Woman Facing Right with Two Black Cats

 

 

Woman and Two Cats lithograph, 1969 Will Barnet

Woman and Two Cats lithograph, 1969

 

 

Will Barnet, Woman, Cat and Tree

Woman, Cat and Tree

 

 

Will Barnet, Youth, 1970, Oil on canvas

Youth, 1970, Oil on canvas

 

 

Woman on Tree With Cat - Will Barnet

Woman on Tree With Cat

 


 

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