Joseph Barbieri: Odd Ducks and Various Landscapes
April 4 – May 3 at Gallery NAGA
It’s about that time of year again. The birds are migrating back to the Northeast and Gallery NAGA is providing a landing pad in the form of avian-focused paintings by Joseph Barbieri.
Joseph Barbieri: Odd Ducks and Various Landscapes runs from April 4 through May 3 at Gallery NAGA. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, April 4 from 6 to 8 pm.
As he has for the past several years, Barbieri presents both streams of his paintings: gentle landscapes and colorful animal portraits. The landscapes, done in Italy, Antigua, and Maine, are soft and muted and are suffused with the warm air and sun of their settings. Barbieri spends most of his vacation painting his surroundings, on-the-spot.
As he paints, Barbieri is interested in recording what he sees in nature. Some of his landscapes portray such shallow space that they appear as abstract forms, or as views under a microscope.
Barbieri’s other stream of painting, his animals, has quieted down. While his birds are engaged in leisurely activities, these activities are not what they used to be. Instead of boating, flying airplanes, and dancing under the moonlight, these animals mostly enjoy their portrait being done. They sit, stand, turn to the side, and sometimes paint.
Barbieri often looks to other artists, in the past and present, to inform the situations these animals find themselves in. Snakes, Snakes, Mice!, a painting of a wary, well-dressed duck, refers to the sign once posted outside Winslow Homer’s studio that was used to ward off all but the most intrepid visitor. In U.K., a duck sporting a spotted tie stands in front of a painting that closely resembles one by the artist Damien Hirst. Col Tempo, the title of which refers to a Giorgione painting of the same name, depicts an aging bird pointing to himself. Is Barbieri indicating that he too is aging and contemplating his future?