Will Barnet (1911-2012), was an American Modernist painter and printmaker known for his works depicting female figures and small animals in quiet and still domestic settings. From Massachusetts, he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and would go on to become the printer for and teacher at the Arts Students League, New York, where he taught abstract and figurative painting and drawing.
Although he spent a period painting in abstract, in the 1960s he began to focus on the meditative essence of mundane everyday life in a unique style, which he is best known for. The works emphasize the juxtaposition between the curve of the female form and the sharp edges of setting, painted on a flat- surfaces.
Barnet was the first recipient of the Artist’s Lifetime Achievement Award Medal given by the National Academy of design and received the 2011 National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Today, his works are found in every major collection in America, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Painting is almost like a religious experience, which should go on and on. Age just gives you the freedom to do some things you've never done before. Great work can come at any stage of your life.
- Will Barnet