Joe Barnes

Originally inspired to paint by living in Paris in the 50's, Barnes won quick recognition for his talent, winning the Emily Lowe Foundation award during his first year of painting. In that same year, he was offered representation at the Gordon Gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York, and was even given a Tribeca studio by his gallerist. By the early 80's, he was exhibiting extensively in Germany, as well as in other European countries and the United States.  From the very beginning, Barnes produced monochrome paintings, feeling that abstraction was best suited for evoking the sense of mystery he wished to communicate. From the late 70's through the early 90's, his paintings were entirely white. His motivation for making white paintings had to do with the purity of white, the concept that "less is more," and "the challenge to push the painting as much as possible." In the early 90's he began making drawings, using pastel colors. His current work, acrylic on panel, features colors that are at once soft and intense.  Current works are relatively small, ranging from 10"x8" to 24"x22". The choice of format is another variation on the "less is more" theme. Attention is drawn to a compact but extremely lively rectangle of color, in much the same way that a lens focuses diffuse light into a concentrated beam. As one viewer remarked about the Napthol Red painting in an exhibition, "it's the biggest small painting I've ever seen." Barnes succeeds in his intention to produce work that reflects "the element of silent, serene quietude." At the same time, his paintings speak clearly and insistently, bidding the viewer to step up and experience their vibrant colors.
Joe Barnes has in many ways led a charmed life. After graduating from college as an English major, he left for Paris, intending to write a novel. Most of the people he knew there were artists, and the art world of Paris in the 50's was an exciting place to be. By the time he returned to New York, he had decided that he too wanted to be a painter. He didn't even know how to stretch a canvas, but he was not one to let such details stand in his way. For most people making such a decision, the expectation is for a long period of learning, followed by another long period of building a reputation. For Joe Barnes, it simply meant asking a painter friend to show him how to make canvases, and then plunging in. Within the first year, he had won the Emily Lowe Foundation award, and had acquired representation at the Gordon Gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York. His gallerist gave him a studio in what is now the Tribeca area. Such immediate and significant recognition of the quality of his paintings served as a confirmation that this was to be his life work.

Born in Detroit, Michigan. Lives and works in New York.

Education 

Wayne University B.A.
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
Taylor Museum, Colorado Springs, CO
Sorbonne, Paris


Awards and Grants

2013

Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant

2010

Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant

2005

Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant

2003

Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Foundation Grant

1999

Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant

1994

New York University, Small Works, Jurors Award

1962

Emily Lowe Foundation Award


Public Collections

Werner H. Kramarsky, New York
Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York (Natalie and Irving Forman Collection)
Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Hagen
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg

Solo exhibitions

2018Joe Barnes - Lars Strandh, The presence of the monochrome, Galerie Nanna Preußners, Hamburg
2016Galerie Floss & Schultz, Cologne (cat.)
2015

Works on Paper, Galerie Nanna Preußners, Hamburg (with Rolf Rose)

2014Galerie König, Hanau/Frankfurt (with Paul Brand)
2013The Beauty of Silence, Kunstkontor, Galerie Ulf Larsson, Cologne
2012Bliss, Galerie Nanna Preußners, Hamburg
2010

Colour Moods, Galerie Françoise Heitsch, Munich (cat.)
The Joys of Silence, Schaltwerk Kunst, Hamburg (now: Galerie Nanna Preußners)
Joe Barnes - Nicholas Bodde, Malerei, Kunstverein Neue Galerie Landshut

2009The Silence of Colour, Galerie König, Frankfurt/Hanau and Berlin
2008Galerie Cornelia Kamp, Keitum/Sylt (with Ivo Ringe)
2007

Marina Wolff, Milan
Kunstkontor, Galerie Ulf Larsson, Cologne (with Ivo Ringe, cat.)

2006

Uta Scharf Fine Art, New York

2001

Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Newport Beach, California

1999

Stil-American Fine Art, Mettmann

1998

Galerie Parade, Amsterdam
Stil-American Fine Art, Dusseldorf
Sin Titulo, Nizza, France

1997

Galerie Orms, Innsbruck, Austria

1995/97Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1993/96/98Die Weisse Galerie, Cologne
1987/89/92

Galerie Dr. Luise Krohn, Badenweiler

1981/85

Geilsdorfer Galerie, Cologne


Group exhibitions

2019

Sense of White, Galerie Nanna Preußners, Hamburg

2017

Painting Black, Raum Schroth im Museum Wilhelm Morgner, Soest (cat.)

2016

Holland Tunnel Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

2015

Holland Tunnel Gallery, Paros, Greece
Galerie König, Hanau/Frankfurt

2014

Painting Black, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, New York City

2013

Best Of, Künstler der Galerie, Galerie Nanna Preußners, Hamburg

2011

About Painting, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Foundation, Manhattan, New York (with Rupert Eder, Jon Groom, Ivo Ringe)

2010

Primary Intensions, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2009

Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Austria
Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York

2008

Roland Aphold Galerie, Basel
Galerie Cornelia Kamp, Keitum/Sylt
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (The Natalie and Irving Forman Collection)
Now!, Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg (with Claudia Desgranges, Ivo Ringe, cat.)
The Essence of the Moment, Kulturforum in Herz Jesu, Cologne (with Rupert Eder, Jon Groom, Ivo Ringe, cat.)
Kunstkontor, Galerie Ulf Larsson, Cologne (with Rupert Eder, Jon Groom, Ivo Ringe)

2007

Marina Wolff, Milan
Furamarte Galerie, Arnsberg
Watercolours, Galerie König, Hanau/Frankfurt
Kunstkontor, Galerie Ulf Larsson, Cologne (with Ivo Ringe, cat.)

2006

Victoria Anstead Gallery, New York
Studio 18 Gallery, New York
Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Marina Wolff, Milan

2005

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (The Natalie and Irving Forman Collection)
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Studio 18 Gallery, New York

2004

150m³ Largus Projektraum, Cologne
Studio 18 Gallery, New York

2003

Die Achtsamkeit des Augenblicks - 5 Maler, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg (mit Claudia Desgranges, Jon Groom, Ivo Ringe, Jerry Zeniuk, cat.)
Galerie Cornelia Kamp, Keitum/Sylt
Studio 18 Gallery, New York

2002

Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2001

Works on PAaper Plus, Studio 18 Gallery, New York

1998

Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Die weisse Galerie, Cologne
Stil-American Fine Art, Dusseldorf

1997

Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Die weisse Galerie, Cologne
Victoria Anstead Gallery, New York
Art Frankfurt, Galerie Orms, Innsbruck

1996

Art Frankfurt, Die weisse Galerie, Cologne

1995

Victoria Anstead Gallery, New York
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

1994

Small Works, New York University

1993

Necessary Fictions, East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania

1992

Die weisse Galerie, Cologne
Small Works, New York University

1990

Discoveries VI, The Arsenal North, New York
Small Works, New York University

1985

Galerie Dr. Luise Krohn, Badenweiler

1981

Pratt Manhatten Center Gallery, New York
Hadler/Rodriguez, New York, Houston, Texas

1979

U.S. Court House, Open Space

1977

O.K. Harris, New York

1975

Hansen Gallery, New York

1974

Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

1973

Buecker Harpsichords, New York
Artist House, New York

1972

Warren Benedek Gallery, New York

1965

Alan Stone Gallery, New York

1963

Gordon Gallery, New York

1962

Eggleston Gallery, New York