Picasso’s Muses

Bill Barrett
1995
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Bill Barrett composes his sculptures of interlocking organic forms that are gracefully balanced and alive with the simulation of movement. For Picasso’s Muses the harmonious twisting and undulating forms reference 2 embracing figures frozen in a moment of dance. Each of his sculptures is based in an interplay between positive and negative space around an invisible central axis and produces dynamic views from every angle.  Each work also embodies a healthy dose of personal expression and optimism where Barrett says he is “in pursuit of a certain life-spark that I might not have achieved in a previous sculpture," which is inexplicably tied to his surviving such serious health issues as open-heart surgery and cancer. In addition to sculptures of varying sizes (from table-top cast bronze works to those standing just over life-size in welded plates of bronze), Barrett takes this aesthetic and stimulation to painting, creating large, abstract canvases filled with cursive lines, biomorphic shapes and undulating bands of color.

Barrett starts his distinctive sculpture by freely drawing calligraphic lines in thick layers of wax. He selects and combines these lines into free-standing wax models that are then cast in bronze. For larger sculptures, such as Picasso’s Muses, he fabricates them from sheets of bronze. In essence, his exquisite asymmetrical sculptures are achieved not through logic, but intuition. His art follows the sculptural and motion-fueled vocabulary of artistic predecessors as Henry Moore and Jacque Lipschitz and the dynamism of Boccioni and the Italian Futurists.

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Bill Barrett's Picasso's Muses

Bill Barrett, Picasso’s Muses, 1995, Bronze. Acquired in 2004; Gift of Dr. Jerome and Rhoda E. Dersh..