Will Barnet American, 1911-2012
Will Barnet’s stylized compositions feature elegant color-blocked figures in muted landscapes and interiors. Barnet’s dark palette and monochromatic backgrounds give his subjects—who fly kites, read books, or sit poised and watchful, staring pensively into the distance—an air of foreboding mystery. Barnet was exposed to a wide array of artistic styles during his almost nine-decade career, and the influence of Magritte’s Surrealist dreamscapes and Edward Hopper’s subdued realist interiors can be felt in his works.
Barnet studied with the Arts Student League of New York, eventually becoming the organization’s official printer, and he was a fixture of the city’s creative community for decades. Barnet’s works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others (via Artsy).