© 2013 Sonoma's Own
Genevieve Willson Barnhart
In late 1979, Genevieve Barnhart returned to lost-wax bronze casting after a 10 year hiatus. At this point her forms changed dramatically in relation to the work she had done in the mid-1960’s. In retrospect, Gen attributes this change to a summer trip visiting medieval sites in Spain and France, resulting in a collection of work she called the Pilgrimage Series. Many of the pieces in this series evolved as small environments with figures, as if to suggest the human condition; while deliberately ambiguous, Gen also strove to create a feeling of monumentality in this work. Most of the titles she chose for these pieces are names of sites along the medieval pilgrimage routes she followed in her travels.
Her more recent work, which she began in the late 1980’s, evolved out of the Pilgrimage Series.
A change seems to be taking place, although I cannot describe what it is. Most of my sculptures are still environments in which images, sometimes tingeing on the surreal, are placed. Perhaps now there is more emphasis on something specific—a helmet, a prehistoric megalith, a mountain, a horse, as horse which becomes a unicorn, a tower, a ladder, a bird, a tomb, a set of stairs—images either seen or read about. In my case, not dreamed.
First exhibiting in Quicksilver’s Guerneville gallery in the early 1990’s, Gen continued to participate in many shows on the River, in Sebastopol, and in the Gallery’s final location in Forestville. In 2006, she presented a one-woman exhibition—Worthy of Exposure: Work in Progress—featuring wonderful black and white photographs taken of many of her Sonoma County artist friends over the years.
Born in Hollister, California, Genevieve Barnhart attended Dominican College in San Rafael, and graduate school at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and San Jose State College. She also studied sculpture in Mexico City, and taught art in high school and college for many years. Genevieve has worked as a sculptor, jeweler and photographer since the late 1940’s.
Available Artwork by Genevieve Willson Barnhart
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