Will Barnet

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Will Barnet
1911-2012.
Study for Big Duluth
1959
Gouache on paper.
8 x 5 inches (203 x 127 mm)
Gift of Will and Elena Barnet, 2009.
2009.385
Provenance: 
Will and Elena Barnet.
Notes: 

Will Barnet's career has spanned nearly eight decades during which he successively embraced different styles, abstract and figurative. The five drawings recently donated to the Morgan by the artist provide a survey of his evolution. The three earliest works, from the 1940s and 50s reflect Barnet's involvement with the so-called Indian Space Painters, a group of artists who set out to create a specifically American abstract style by looking for inspiration in Native American art. Fond of using found paper as a support, Barnet created one of these pictographic compositions over and around the lettering of a 1956 charity ball program for the fundraising arm of a black civil rights organization.
Study for Big Duluth is one of many studies for a monumental painting Barnett made following a summer residency at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. The stark, semi-abstract landscape was inspired by the view of sun, moon and stars reflected across the surface of Lake Superior.

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