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Robert Barry

Robert Barry

*  1936 New York City

The American artist Robert Barry has attained world fame as member of the pioneering first generation of Concept Artists.
Born in New York City in 1936, Robert Barry began to attend Hunter College in his native city in 1957, where he also taught from 1964 on, after he had completed his studies in 1963. Between 1969 and 1977 Robert Barry was also employed as assistant professor there.
In his early creative period before 1967 Robert Barry primarily made paintings of serial character that consist of elementary forms and colors. The year 1968 marks his consequential turn to Concept Art. In doing so it was Robert Barry's goal to address the immaterial reality - the "invisible works" emerging from a pure "mental art" were born. A prime example of the this approach is his connection of two houses by a thin transparent nylon thread, which indeed is reality, however, but can be visually perceived neither by the viewer nor in a photography. The work complex "Inert Gas Series" (1969) also attained quite some fame: Robert Barry released an accurately determined amount of noble gases at a fixed location and documented the invisible process photographically.
Later, Robert Barry dealt with acoustics, radio waves and radioactive materials, and in particular with language; the written word also influenced his projections. However, language does not appear as a self-sufficient subject matter, but as a mediator to the idea - the "concept".
Since the 1980s, color and geometric symbols, often combined with text fragments have increasingly complemented Robert Barry's art. Robert Barry lives and works in Teaneck / New Jersey.
The multiple documenta participant Robert Barry has been honored with numerous solo exhibitions in the past; most recently the touring exhibition at the Kunsthalle Nürnberg and the Aargau Kunsthaus Aarau under the title " Robert Barry. Some Places to Which We Can Come (works 1963-1975 )" ( 2003/2004). Works by Robert Barry are also part of important international collections, such as the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge / MA, the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Lyon, the SMAK Ghent and the ZKM in Karlsruhe.