Beautiful show at Alexandre Gallery in NY titled LOVE LETTERS by Artist Will Barnet. The show is an homage to his beautiful wife Elena. Very much worth seeing and especially if you are a Will Barnet fan – AND I AM!
My work is on exhibit at the Columns Museum in Milford, PA. October 10th through December 7, 2014.
The Show will also be during the time of the Black Bear Film Festival
It is the same Museum that has in their collection, the blood-stained Lincoln Flag from the Ford’s Theatre in Washington.
– On a history note, JoAnne was the only photographer at the Long Beach Grand Prix who captured the famous motor series at the start of the Long Beach Grand Prix of near fatal accident with Mario Andretti and James Hunt. Sports Illustrated ran the photo twice that year, the second time was for “The Year in Sports” issue.
The Tragedy of September 2001 will never be forgotten with her photograph of a Prayer Vigil, which has been recognized as one of the greatest tributes to the American Spirit. Quote from Charlie Borst, Director of Photography at Corbis Sigma USA – “ I must say that from all the pictures I’ve edited of this tragedy, this quickly rises to the top.”
JoAnne’s iconic photograph of Artist Will Barnet, awarded the medal of Arts by President Obama in 2012, is now part of the Permanent Collection of Portraits, in The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, as well as is being part of the photographic collection in the White House.
Other personal work is on display as well. PLEASE COME DOWN AND SUPPORT THE ARTS.
Museum Hours are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM or by Appointment (57) 296-8126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Friday I received an e mail from the Chief of the Department of Image Collections Mr. Gregory Most, at the National Gallery of Art informing me that my portrait of Will Barnet has been mentioned in their 2013 Annual report on page 21. It reads – The artists’ portraits collection added self-portraits by Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee, c. 1950; Philippe Halsman, c. 1955–1960; and Jerry Uelsmann, c.1970. Other artists’ portraits include Fernand Léger by Herbert Matter, 1939; Frida Kahlo by Manuel Alvarez – Bravo, c.1938, printed 1960; Paul Eluard in his apartment by Brassaï, 1944, printed 1960; Andy Warhol being photographed by Horst by David Bailey,1972; and Will Barnet by JoAnne Kalish, 2005, printed 2013. David Dufour donated a pair of photograph postcards of Marsden Hartley by Carl van Vechten,1939.
Totally an honor to be amongst the group. It was a great way to end the week on such a high note!
We were taking a flight to Austin, Texas to photograph their first F1 Grand Prix. I was reading The New York Times and a painting of Will’s caught my eye, as I was turning the page. It was the Obituary Column – Will had passed away the day before (November 13.) We all knew it was coming but it really really hit me hard. I had spoke to Will the week before in hopes of getting together but sadly it did not work out.
I first met Will Barnet when I had an assignment to photograph him for ART & ANTIQUES MAGAZINE, back in 2005 and we’ve been friends ever since. He was an exceptional person – warm, generous, extremely talented yet humble. He’d always go that extra mile to make you feel special. With all his accomplishments and stature he never failed to ask how I was doing, what kind of art I was making, and how was Joe? He always made me feel special.
For those of you not familiar with his work, Will’s body of work ranges from universal family scenes, often but not always, using his wife, children,and pets as they connect with each other. On the other hand, his paintings go in other directions as well, exploring abstracts and the connection that can be made using bold colors & form. During this time, he was influenced by the artwork of American Indians. Will’s been a Printmaker, as well as being an Art Educator for many years. I’ve heard stories of how he’s influenced a generation of young artists. His kind, generous nature is not common in the art world but Will was his own person. It did not take away, from who he was, to share with others. He welcomed the opportunity. After the Great Depression he was very involved in the federal art project heading up the WPA, which helped artists sustain a living while continuing to make their art. He has been the recipient of many awards. This past February 2012, President Obama Awarded him the Medal of Arts for his lifetime achievement.
One Saturday, I called and asked if I could stop by to say hello. He said that he was sorry but he was going to a friend’s gallery opening and we’d have to make it another time. Joe and I decided to check out some shows ourselves that weekend and who, did we stroll into but Will. It was so important for him to see what was going on at all times.
On another day, I was in the neighborhood and called him to see if I could stop by to say hello. He said, “give me a few minutes I’m coming down, meet me at the entrance of my building.” His son Todd who I met for the first time was with him. It was a beautiful day and we sat in Gramercy Park talking like old friends reminiscing and sharing how we met. We had a good laugh about how, after I had done his portrait, I did not realize, until just before I left, that my face was covered (and I mean covered) with blue paint. All during the shoot he had found it very amusing but never said a word to me. That same day sitting in the park, he told me, that of all the famous photographers that had photographed him over the last eight decades, my photograph was his very favorite and truly the best. He then followed this statement with – including the portrait that Arnold Newman had done of him. I wish I got it on tape! Over the years, Will requested that my portrait be used alongside his work and it has been used in many museums and galleries and I’m truly honored. Recently it was used as the iconic opening photo in the book WILL BARNET AT 100.
This past New Year’s Day my cell phone rang and it was Will calling to wish Joe and myself a very Happy New Year. It was a wonderful surprise! I will cherish that phone call forever.
Artist Will Barnet, legendary painter and print maker just turned 100 in May, recently received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
Barnet received this high honor “for his contributions as an American painter, printmaker, and teacher,” according to the citation. “For over 80 years, Mr Barnet has been a constant force in the visual arts world, marrying sophistication and emotion with beauty and form,” the citation said.
Will can no longer stand, but he still paints three to four hours a day in his duplex apartment in the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park, where he and his wife Elena have lived since 1982. If you are not familiar with his work he is known for his abstract and expressionist paintings as well as his depictions of family and personal scenes. Will taught at Cooper Union and Yale, among other places. His famous students include Mark Rothko and Alex Katz.
I had an assignment from Arts & Antiques Magazine to do a spread on Will approximately 7 years ago and it was the best assignment I’ve ever had bar none. It was a total privilege and honor just to meet him, let alone photograph him. I totally admire his artwork and as a human being I’ve never met anyone quite like him. He is so genuine giving and unassuming. He is totally supportive of women in the arts and if you think about his age and his artist contemporaries you will realize that was rarely the case. Will and I have stayed in touch over the years as he has told me his favorite portrait is the one I did of him and no one has captured him the way I have. He always requests my photograph of him, to be used alongside his work and he has an obvious favorite.
I just want to totally brag here and say Will called me this past New Year’s Day to wish Joe and I a very Happy New Year. I was totally blown away! That’s what I mean about him being so special!
Here is a selections of some of Will Barnet’s Paintings –