Will Barnet 1911 - 2012 American Social Realism, Indian Space Painting Painters
Will Barnet owned a house in East Hampton during the 1970s and summered on the East End for many years. As with numerous artists of his generation, his work of the 1930s embraced social realism, and his earliest influences included Daumier, Orozco, and Marsh. In the 1940s he turned to a “clear-edge” abstract geometric style that reflected the influence of Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism. During the 1950s, he was associated with "Indian Space" painting—a style whose spare, flat shapes and dynamism also informed the work of Peter Busa and Adolph Gottlieb, among others. “I was looking for a more modern concept of space,” Barnet has said, “and Indian art showed me the way.” He returned to figuration in the 1960s. The portraits and figure studies, often of family members, were simplified, consisting of silhouettes set against large planes of color. These later works balanced the formal demands of abstraction with the humanistic content of representation.
Will Barnet owned a house in East Hampton during the 1970s and summered on the East End for many years.