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Christian Peterson Art Museum
Painting | Sculpture
The Christian Petersen Art Museum, the Byron and Elizabeth Anderson Sculpture Garden and the Art on Campus Collection synergistically function to create an aesthetic campus where the contemporary visual arts are intellectually and physically accessible. As new public art is commissioned by Iowa State, the sculpture garden and this museum bring enlightenment, enjoyment and understanding about the art and artists to the campus community.
The sculpture of internationally acclaimed artist Bill Barrett was first acquired for Iowa State’s Art on Campus Collection in 2007 for the Gerdin Building. A selection of Barrett’s sculptures was the inaugural exhibition in 2007 in the Anderson Sculpture Garden with the intent of expanding understanding and campus access to Barrett’s artistic expression. That exhibition, Exquisite Balance, will remain on view through August 2010. In the Christian Petersen Art Museum, the exhibition Polyphonic Abstractions: Paintings and Maquettes by Bill Barrett continues that same aesthetic and educational goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of Barrett’s humanistic expressions. By viewing the sculpture and paintings of Bill Barrett, the University Museums’ intent is to have campus experience an artist and his work as fully as possible, and thus place in context Bravo III, which is part of our permanent Art on Campus Collection at the Gerdin Building.
Known primarily for his sculptures of fabricated aluminum, bronze and steel, Barrett is also an accomplished painter. This exhibition juxtaposes his expressive canvases with his sculptural maquettes. With lyrical calligraphic gestures, Barrett’s art explores the interplay between positive and negative space with grace, elegance and exquisite balance. Fluidity, celebration, and effortlessness are ideas that are delicately balanced with form, line, color and content while invoking a minimal aesthetic with humanity. Polyphonic Abstractions refers to the idea that several things are being experienced linearly and simultaneously, with complexity and density in imagery.
Barrett, Bill and Cunnally, John, "Polyphonic Abstraction: Paintings and Maquettes by Bill Barrett" (2010). University Museums Exhibition Guides. 5.