Will Barnet: Painter, Centenarian, Mensch

Will Barnet, Singular Image (1959), oil on canvas; courtesy The National Academy of Design

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The venerable, sometimes beleaguered and, if some observers are to be believed, poky National Academy of Design will re-open its doors next week after a one-year hiatus for renovation. Among the exhibitions being mounted to inaugurate the re-designed gallery spaces is Will Barnet at 100.

An integral presence in the New York scene for (ulp!) eighty years, Barnett is a painter and printmaker of no small gifts–that, and he’s a mensch. His indefatigable appetite for art is renowned, as is his generosity of attention and spirit. These are attributes to which I can attest: Barnet has attended each of my solo exhibitions at Elizabeth Harris Gallery.

Alexandre Gallery will be exhibiting Barnet’s works-on-paper from the 1950’s concurrently with the National Academy show.

I’ve had occasion to write about Barnet’s work; you can find my two cents here and here.

© 2011 Mario Naves

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