Cover image for Will Barnet : a timeless world
Will Barnet : a timeless world
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Montclair, N.J. : Montclair Art Museum, [2000]

Physical Description:
124 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
General Note:
Catalog of an exhibition held at the Montclair Art Museum, May 14-Aug. 20, 2000, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Sept. 20-Nov. 5, 2000, the Portland Museum of Art, Dec. 21, 2000-Feb. 18, 2001, and the Arkansas Arts Center, Mar. 22-June 3, 2001.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6537.B22 A4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Painter and printmaker Will Barnet has actively participated in the New York art world for nearly 70 years. A leading figure in the Indian Space painting movement of the late 1940s, Barnet stressed the spatial structures of Northwest Coast Indian art. Throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, he made a series of hardedged, totemic abstractions marked by their "all-positive" space, which he described as austere, classical expressions of Indian culture. He then moved on to new art forms in the 1960s and 1970s, creating a series of family and art world portraits that achieved a remarkable balance between the formal demands of abstraction and the humanist aspects of representation.

Will Barnet: A Timeless World is the first substantial publications to unify Barnet's prodigious output. Art historian Gail Stavitsky provides an overview of this artist's entire career. Twig Johnson, the museum's curator of Native American Art, discusses the relationship of Barnet's work to this important indigenous artistic tradition. Jessica Nicoll, chief curator at the Portland Museum of Art, explores the profound impact of New England upon Barnet and his work. Many of Barnet's works are beautifully reproduced in this catalog, containing 43 color and 20 black-and-white illustrations.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Johnson (Montclair Art Museum) and Nicoll (Portland Museum of Art) have prepared this exhibition catalog edited by Stavitsky (Montclair Art Museum), which chronicles the first comprehensive retrospective of Will Barnet's 70-year career. There is biographical information, presented by decades (the '20s, '30s, etc.); including the excellent endnotes, this section has 52 pages. Two well-written essays on 15 pages address influences on Barnet's work. The plates section includes 29 images, one to a page, that are printed well and cover each of Barnet's stylistic stages. There is a very brief selected bibliography along with published writings about the artist, and a selective chronology and exhibition history in time-line format. The other books on Barnet are Robert Doty's 1984 work, Will Barnet (CH, Feb'85), and his Will Barnet, Selected Abstract Work, 1940-1960 (1988), a catalog from a Kennedy Gallery exhibit. The 1984 book is a more "substantial" book with some of the same information and reproductions as this one, but the book under review (Stavitsky) updates the 1984 Doty to 2000. The Kennedy Gallery catalog is nowhere near as complete as Stavitsky. For a research library, both Doty and Stavitsky seem necessary. For a library not concerned about the most current research, the Doty may suffice. Upper-division undergraduates and up. C. Stroh; Western Michigan University