Bill Barrett American, b. 1934

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The full evolution of Bill’s artistic creation reveals that several formal ideas recur:  the arch, the bridge, and the virile, celebratory thrust of Don Quixote’s lance.  Underlying it all is the grand theme of Bill’s search for an almost impossible synthesis between the tactile process of free modeling, the expressive gesture and the craft of welding sheets of metal.


Though born in Los Angeles, Barrett grew up in Indiana when his father, also an artist, began teaching at Notre Dame.  Barrett attended high school in South Bend and in 1959 held his first one-man show of sculpture at the South Bend Center for the Arts.  Over the next five decades, Barrett distinguished himself as an abstract expressionist sculptor and painter, crediting such greats as Henry Moore, Rodin, David Smith and Picasso as influences.  Today, his work can be found across the country and around the world.


Filing up space is much more exacting than carving into mass.  His largest pieces, towering over thirty-two feet and weighing thousands of pounds, rest as lightly on the ground as acrobats.  His more intimately scaled pieces move indoors and assume command of their surroundings while remaining approachable and empathetic.  Every sculpture invites the mind in for a tour of ideas and a high-level discussion of truth and beauty.  Remarkably, Barrett is able to create the most calligraphic, balletic forms in a demanding medium


Barrett has kept up a staggering schedule of one-person and invitational group shows for over forty years, beginning with the San Francisco Museum of Art in California and the Whitney Annual in New York, and crisscrossing the nation and the world in the decades since.  After more than forty years as a prominent New York artist, he established a second residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1988.  He now divides his time between the two, maintaining his prodigious output from studios in both locations.  His reputation has expanded also, and today his work hangs in the permanent collections and fine arts museums all over the Unites States, Asia and Europe.    Bill Barrett occupies his own space solidly, pushing out the parameters of his life, sculpting his environment, and asserting his presence as an international artist.


Creative change is always important for me, from one shape to the next.  Surprise is important. Taking a chance while searching for truth is a condition that I strive for when starting a new work of art.  It is the beginning of the journey and my obligation.  You take a chance and you never know where the journey will take you. 


It’s okay to see what you need to see, says the artist.  “Abstract art is like music in that when you listen to a song, everyone has different ideas about it. feels different emotions because of it.  Even the same person listening to a piece at different times will feel differently.  That’s true of abstract art.  As a viewer, you can interpret it for yourself as well as seeing what the artist made.  That’s what I like about abstract art; you get a chance to participate.”

Solo Exhibitions

2012          BILL BARRETT: DNA Exhibition of Sculpture and Paintings, LewAllen Galleries,Railyard, Santa Fe, NM; BILL BARRETT:  Sculpture and Paintings, Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida

2011          PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY

2010          POLYPHONIC ABSTRACTIONS, Painting and Maquette Survey, Iowa State University, Christian Petersen Art Museum, Ames, Iowa; SYNCHRONICITY, Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Kouros Gallery, NY, NY

2008-09    EXQUISITE BALANCE, Outdoor Sculpture, Exhibition, Iowa State Univ., Ames, Iowa

2008          Drawing Exhibition, Michigan State University, Kresge Art Center, East Lansing, MI; DIVERTIMENTOS in BRONZE, LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; Kouros Gallery, New York, NY

2007          SOLO SHOW, Bentley Projects, Phoenix, Arizona

2006          SOLO SHOW, Kouros Gallery, New York

2005          CONNEXUS, LewAllen Contemporary Art, Santa Fe

2004          SOLO SHOW, Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida

2002          BRONZE:  PATTERNS and COLOR, Century Association, New York; Ira Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

2001          SOLO SHOW, Kouros Gallery, New York; McCormick Works of Art, Chicago; Cline Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

2000          BILL BARRETT: Sculpture and Painting, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey; J. J. Brookings Gallery, San Francisco

1999          Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

1998          SOLO SHOW, J. J. Brookings Gallery, San Francisco; Nardin Gallery, 57th and Madison Avenue, New York

1996          SOLO SHOW, J.J. Brookings Gallery, San Francisco; Kouros Gallery, New York; Cline Fine Art, Santa Fe

1995          Mongerson – Wunderlich Gallery, Chicago; Roswitha Benkert Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

1994          SOLO SHOW, Kouros Gallery, New York

1993         SOLO SHOW, Cline Fine Art, Santa Fe

1990         SOLO SHOW, Shidoni Contemporary Gallery, Tesuque, NM

1960-90    Thirty one man shows

Corporate Collections and Commissions

1615 L Street, Washington, D.C.

2001 K Street, Washington, D.C.

Best Products Corporation, Richmond

Belz Enterprises, Memphis, Tennessee

Bishop Ranch, San Ramon, California

Brandywine Realty and Trust, Austin, TX

Dell Corporation, Austin, TX

Eighty One Mainstreet Associates, White Plains, NY

Garden Communities, La Jolla, California

Hitachi Corporation, Kyushu Plant, Kanda, Japan

Jade Pig Corporation, Gaslight Village, Grand Rapids, MI

La Jolla Crossroads, La Jolla, CA

Lincoln National Life Insurance Company Foundation, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Lumiere Place Casino and Hotel, A Four Seasons Hotel, St.  Louis, MO

Michigan State University Credit Union, East Lansing, MI

Neiman-Marcus, Dallas

Pacific Enterprises, Law Library, Los Angeles

Palazzo Hotel Resort Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Peabody Hotel, Little Rock, AR

Belz Enterprises, Memphis, Tennessee

Portman Corporation, Northpark Town Center, Atlanta

Rockefeller Realty Corporation, #3 Embarcadero West, San Francisco

Saint Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe

Schulman Realty Group, White Plains, New York

Sempra Energy International, San Diego, California

The Corinthian Building, New York

Tower Insurance Group, 120 Broadway, New York

Trammell-Crow, Paramount, California

Trinity Medical Center, Ft. Dodge, Iowa

Valley National Bank, Phoenix

West Group, One Bunker Hill, Los Angeles

Museum Collections

911 Memorial and Museum, New York, New York

Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aldrich Museum of Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut

Allan Houser Foundation, Permanent Collection, Santa Fe

Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Fine Arts Museum of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Goddard Visual Art Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Grounds for Sculpture Museum, Hamilton, New Jersey

Guild Hall Museum of Art, East Hampton, New York

Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico

Iowa State University, In the Art on Campus Collection,

University Museums, Ames, Iowa, Gerdin Building, West entrance

Iowa State University, In the Art on Campus Model

Maquette Collection, University Museums, Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University, School of Music, Ames, Iowa

International Foundation Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee

Las Vegas Museum of Art, Las Vegas, Nevada

Museum of Outdoor Art, Englewood, Colorado

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York

Norfolk Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

Pyramid Hill, Sculpture Park and Museum, Hamilton, OH

Reading Museum, Reading, PA

Runnymede Sculpture Farm, San Francisco

Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe

Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, Arizona

The Hyde Collection Art Museum, Glens Falls, New York

The Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Villa Haiss Museum, Zell am Harmersback, Germany

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

Municipal Collections

Ann Arbor City Hall, Ruby Church Memorial, Ann Arbor, Michigan

City of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona

Criminal Court Building, Hartford, Connecticut

New York City, New Dorp High School, Staten Island, New York

Nyack Plaza Mall, Nyack, New York

Pennington Park, Patterson, NJ

City of Palo Alto, CA

Appaloosa Public Library, Scottsdale, AZ

University Collections

Albright College, Freedman Gallery, Reading, PI

Eastern Michigan University Library, Ypsilanti

Hope College, Holland, Michigan

Iowa State University, “In the Art on Campus Collection”

University Museums, Iowa State University at the Gerdin Building, College of Business, Ames, Iowa

Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Mitchell Wolfson New World Campus, Miami

Stony Brook University, Laufer Center, Stony Brook, NY

University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut

University of Michigan, School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor

University of Michigan, School of Engineering, Ann Arbor

University of Michigan, School of Social Work, Ann Arbor

University of Montana, Montana Museum of Art and Culture, Missoula, MT

University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

University of Syracuse, Syracuse, New York

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