Painting M 1958
Oil on canvas Signed lower right.
Provenance: Waddington Gallery, London 1958
Following service in the Pacific in World War II, Barr studied at Pomona and Claremont Colleges, Claremont, California, receiving the M.F.A. from Claremont in 1949.
Barr taught briefly at the University of California, Los Angeles, before leaving for Europe in 1952 for a stay of two years. Upon his return he taught at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, until 1956 when he returned to Europe. He remained six months in London, where he showed a dozen abstract collages in the exhibition ‘Abstract, Tachiste, and Metavisual’ at the Redfern Gallery, he then moved to Paris.
In Paris he became head of the art department at the American Students' and Artists' Center. Whilst he was there Barr's painting became more abstract, influenced by his work in collage, and he developed his fabric collages into sculpture, casting them into bronze from wax and plaster models.
Upon Barr's return to the United States in 1969, he began to work in direct metal sculpture, welding sheet bronze and later stainless steel for large-scale public buildings.
Among his major sculpture commissions are Arch/Flight, 1979, for the State Building at Redding, California; O? Oh, 1981, for the State Printing Facility in Salem, Oregon; Spirit Bridge, 1985, for the Civic Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska; and, in the same year, a memorial to longshoreman-philosopher, Eric Hoffer, situated on the San Francisco waterfront.
Barr’s work is in many public collections including the Norton Simon Museum and the Hirshhorn Collection.