Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by video artist Burt Barr (November 12, 1938 – November 7, 2016) on view in the back galleries from January 13 through February 18, 2017.
Burt Barr was known for his use of traditional cinematic techniques to create simple but humorous videos. Characterized by minimal process and presentation, Barr’s work is the antithesis of most other contemporary video art. The current exhibition presents two works, one presented on a monitor and another projected, selected from Barr’s 30-plus year career. While planned prior to his death, the exhibition serves as a memorial to this unique artist and beloved friend.
Burt Barr was born in 1938 in Lewiston, Maine, and lived in New York. His early videos from the mid-1980s were shown at international film festivals in Montreal, Berlin, Toronto, San Sebastian, Melbourne, and Rotterdam, as well as on PBS. In 1993 he made the transition to the installation works that have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including solo presentations at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center in Istanbul.
Since the beginning of his career, Barr worked with personalities of the art world - many of them actors in various roles. Included in this group are Clarissa Dalrymple, Klaus Kertess, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Trisha Brown (his wife), Robert Rauschenberg, Elizabeth Murray, Cecily Brown, Billy Sullivan, Jessica Craig-Martin, Nessia Pope, Stephen Mueller, Carroll Dunham, Teresita Fernandez, Tim Davis, Ester Partegas, and “downtown” performers such as Willem DaFoe, Diane Madden, Lance Gries, Stephen Petronio, Jodi Melnick, Stanford Makishi, Jimena Paz, Roz LeBlanc, Mindy Myers, and Judith Sanchez-Ruiz. Working with these artists formed yet another dimension to the work – that of documentation of the art community during a particular time in New York City.
Barr was the recipient of grants from The Andrea Frank Foundation (1999), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1998), The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (1996), The Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities (1984), WGBH/WNET (1987), Brooklyn Arts Council (1989), the National Endowment for the Arts (1983,1985,1988,1989,1993), the New York State Council on the Arts (1986,1989,1996), and The American Film Institute (1992).
Barr served as an Instructor of Film and Video Projects at the Pratt Institute, an Instructor of Creative Projects at New York University, and was a Visiting Artist at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He lectured at Cornell University, Ohio University, Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design, the Museum of Modern Art, Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv, CAPC Musée in Bordeaux, Anthology Film Archives, and Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis.