Bill Barrett, one of today’s foremost sculptors, was born in Los Angeles, CA. He earned a BS and an MS in Design from the University of Michigan, and later an MFA from the same institution. Since the mid 1960s, Barrett has been exhibiting his unique metal sculptures and abstract paintings in numerous solo and group exhibitions in such places as Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria and Japan as well as in the United States.
Barrett’s sculptures of fabricated aluminum, bronze or steel address the interplay between positive and negative space with grace, elegance and exquisite balance. His works call to mind the fluid effortlessness of calligraphic strokes and betray a positivism to which many viewers feel drawn. Others have said that Barrett’s sculptures are distinctly American in their directness and lightness. His sophisticated constructions, through a delicate balance of form and content, transcend the starker aesthetics of minimalism with a warmth and humanity.
In spring 2011, Barrett’s commemorative bronze sculpture Lexeme IV was installed in New York City’s Finn Square. The work, which combines abstract and representational elements, has been celebrated for its graceful tribute to the tragic terrorist events of September 11, 2001. In October 2011, the vibrantly colored painting Oil #2 (From the Memory Series), inspired the music department of Iowa State University to compose an original music score for the piano called Polyphonic Abstraction.
Bill Barrett is represented in numerous private and public collections. Museum collections include the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT; the Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; the Knoxville Museum of Art, TN; the Museum of Fine Arts, NM; the Fine Arts Museum of Oklahoma City, OK; the Harwood Museum, NM; the International Foundation Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VA; the Boca Raton Museum, FL; the Las Vegas Museum of Art, NV; the Albuquerque Museum of Art, NM; the Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Villa Haiss Museum für Zeitgenüssische Kunst, Zell Germany; and Runnymede Sculpture Farm, CA. His works have been installed on many university campuses – most recently, he has installed work at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Iowa State University. Barrett has garnered praise in Trend Magazine and Sculpture Magazine, and he is frequently called upon to produce large public sculpture.