Published: October 5, 2010
In honor of Will Barnet’s centennial year, the Art Students League brings together, for the first time, highlights of the artist’s career with works by dozens of his instructors, colleagues and students, including George L.K. Morris, Steve Wheeler, Louise Bourgeois and James Rosenquist.
The exhibition is at the league’s Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, through October 31, and is free and open to the public seven days a week.
“Will Barnet and The Art Students League” examines Barnet’s 50-year affiliation with the school and his prominent place in the history of Twentieth Century American art. Seeing Barnet’s work alongside that of his fellow league artists reveals the persistent course of Modernism at the league. The exhibition draws from museum, gallery and private collections, and includes 14 seminal works representing key moments in Barnet’s career during his affiliation with the league and works by nearly 50 colleagues.
Barnet was born in Beverly, Mass., in 1911, studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School before earning a scholarship to the Art Students League of New York and beginning his 50-year affiliation with the school at the age of 19. He studied painting with Stuart Davis and printmaking with Harry Wickey and Charles Locke. He taught graphic arts and composition from 1941 to 1954, and painting from 1953 through 1979.
Over the decades, Barnet witnessed and participated in some of the major movements of Twentieth Century American art. Barnet has also taught at Yale, Cooper Union and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
His work is in every major public collection in the United States, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
His awards include the National Academy of Design’s first Artist’s Lifetime Achievement Award Medal, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art’s Lippincott Prize and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters’ Childe Hassam Prize.
For more information, www.theartstudentsleague.org or 212-247-4510.
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