Grand Allusions

Grand Allusions

Robert Barnes—Late Works 1985-2015
Rooks, Michael
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/30/2015
Format: Hardback 96 color illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01966-0
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Robert Barnes has been called the "most famous unknown painter in America." Picking up where his 1985 mid-career retrospective left off, this gorgeous catalog surveys Barnes's work from the past 30 years. Often identified as a Chicago School artist because of his training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his representation by several major Chicago area galleries, Barnes’s style defies simple categorization. In addition to 18 largescale paintings from his major series—including The Sources of Power, Silkies, Blood and Perfume, The Ogham, Jettatura, and Paradise—this stunning collection includes 20 of Barnes’s works on paper.

Author Bio

Michael Rooks was the recipient of the 2015 Nexus Award from the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. He is curator at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.


When Barnes’s remarkable use of colors that glow like embers is added to his dense working of his materials, one enters a vividly poetic world in which ordinary experience is heightened to rare states of awareness and perception. In this way Barnes catches what might be called a flowing sense of transient permanence composed of memory, active perception, and imagination. For Barnes, then, the numinous and complex nature of artistic perception presents magical visions that are inexhaustible sources of revelation and delight.

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Table of Contents

Collectors’ Appreciation
Grand Allusions
Chronology, Exhibition History, and Bibliography

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