Dimensions: 11 x 8 3/4 x 7 in. (27.9 x 22.2 x 17.8 cm)
Classification: Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquettes
Credit Line: Gift of Bill and Debora Barrett. In the Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquette Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: UM2008.605
This work of art is a maquette (model) for the larger sculpture on campus of Bravo III by the Gerdin Business Building.
Bill Barrett's sculptures belong to the classical tradition of American modernism where clarity of form and firmness of structure are coupled with the harmonious juxtaposition of the curvilinear. He expresses a sculptural consciousness of the organic, surfacing into elegant gestures that in their virtually liquid appearance indicate natural growth. His work is sensual and intuitive rather than ruled by an imposed logic. It floats through space, curving upward and outward, flirting with weight and gravity. Like much sculpture based on European traditions, Barrett's work carries with it a memory of the archaic.
Philip Palmedo, author of the bookk on his work, Bill Barrett, The Life of a Sculptor, recognizes the influences that expressionism, Asian calligraphy, and most importantly, surrealism has had on his work - "surrealism as access to the locus of memory and feeling, to the place where the human inclination to sing and to move gracefully has its origins."