Tue. May 17th, 2022

A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER who became a successful artist, Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) made paintings about what he experienced and what was known. His most frequent topics were South American life in the South, referring to his North Carolina roots and racially diverse athletes who engaged in all kinds of sports, from tennis and boxing, to basketball and football, which Barnes played professionally in the NFL (1960). -1964)) and the Canadian Football League (1965).

“Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003” collects a selection of the artist’s football pictures, 14 paintings and drawings over four decades can be found at 55 Walker Street, where the exhibition is organized by Andrew Kreps Gallery in collaboration with Ales Ortuzar and the artist’s property.


ERNIE BARNES, “Climatic conditions”, 1995 (acrylic on canvas, 48 ​​× 60 inches / 121.9 × 152.4 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery

“The Sugar Shack II” (1976) and “Stored Dreams” (1962-94), two paintings that are fundamental to the artist’s practice, are among the works on display, but not for sale. “The Sugar Shack II” is a version of his famous painting that appeared on the TV show “Good Times” and one of two images in the exhibition that are not football-related. (The other is “Study for Steps”, 1998.) Children’s twin cases show evidence in “Stored Dreams”. The still life cabinet scene shows a football helmet and clasps together with a large art history book, a sketch and brushes.

Barnes published a memoir in 1995. He opens “From Pads to Palette” with a self-reflective account of the role of football in his life and what being an artist means to him.

“At the beginning of this book, I reject any claim of greatness in athletics. I was not an All-Pro and I do not expect [to] be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It is safe to say that if it were not for the discovery of my drawings and sketches, any dissection of my career would have been unnecessary. But for five years of my life, I was a professional football player. An offensive guard who dueled in the hole of hell called “pit”, the imaginary split in football called the line of scrimmage where violence is an acceptable display of emotion, “Barnes wrote.

“It may seem inconsistent to you, the reader, but through my five seasons in the arena of professional football, I remained at my deepest level – an artist. I found no dichotomy in the duality of my abilities. I suppose because the same qualities that make a successful football player are the same that are found in a successful artist. Dedication, unanimity, discipline and skill. ”

He continued: “Today, thirty years since I wore a uniform, I am the artist I dreamed of becoming when I bumped my head in the arena. The rewards are the same. Recognition, fame, wealth, admiration and envy of others in the field, publicity, fans, public exhibition of excellence and so on. But the greatest reward of all is that I am in touch with my feelings and emotions as a human being. ”

“Throughout my five seasons in professional football, I remained at my deepest level – an artist. I found no dichotomy in the duality of my abilities. I suppose because the same qualities that make a successful football player are the same that are found in a successful artist. ”- Ernie Barnes, From pillows to palette

Several works that can be seen in the exhibition are illustrated in “From Pads to Palette”, including “Study Sketch: Player Running Holding Ball” (1963), “Blood Conference aka Three Red Linemen” (1966), “From the Pocket” (1990), “Fumble in the Line” (1990), “Climactic Conditions” (1995) and “Saved Dreams.”

Barnes lived and worked in Los Angeles for most of his artistic career. His first solo exhibition was anywhere at the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York in 1966. Almost 25 years later, his traveling exhibition “The Beauty of the Ghetto” was presented at the same gallery (1990). The current gallery exhibition marks the artist’s posthumous return to New York, his first solo show in the city in three decades. CT

“Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003” can be seen at 55 Walker Street, New York, NY, from September 24-October. 30, 2021


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Study for To Know Defeat”, 1979 (acrylic on paper, 38 × 25 inches / 96.5 × 63.5 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). Show to the right “The Sugar Shack II” (1976). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “The Big Lineman”, 2003 (acrylic on paper, 26 × 20 inches / 66 × 50.8 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Fumle in the Line”, 1990 (acrylic on canvas, 48 ​​× 60 inches / 121.9 × 152.4 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “From the Pocket”, 1990 (acrylic on canvas, 48 ​​× 60 inches / 121.9 × 152.4 cm; framed: 49 × 61 inches / 124.5 × 154.9 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Study Sketch: Player Running Holding Ball”, 1963 (ink on paper; framed: 15 × 15 inches / 38.1 × 38.1 cm. | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Untitled (Locker Room, Player Sitting)”, 1969 (acrylic on canvas, 16.6 x 20 inches / 40.6 × 50.8 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). Shown from left “Stored Dreams” (1962-1994) and “Bronco Locker Room” (1982). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Bronco Locker Room”, 1982 (acrylic on canvas, 24 × 48 inches / 61 × 121.9 cm; framed: 28 1/2 × 52 1/2 inches / 72.4 × 133.3 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery


ERNIE BARNES, “Blood Conference aka Three Red Linemen,” 1966 (acrylic on canvas, 47 × 49 inches / 119.4 × 124.5 cm; framed: 50 × 48 inches / 127 × 121.9 cm). | © Ernie Barnes Family Trust, Courtesy artist’s estate and Andrew Kreps Gallery


Installation View of “Ernie Barnes: Works, 1961-2003,” 55 Walker Street, New York, NY (September 24-October 30, 2021). | Greetings artist property and Andrew Kreps Gallery

BOGREOL
“From Pads to Palette” (1995) is an autobiographical volume by Ernie Barnes. In addition to his football sketches and paintings, the artist talks about his childhood in Durham, NC, football experiences, including the separate AFL and early NFL years, and the beginning of his art career with his first solo exhibition at the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York. Released in 2007, “A Tribute to Artist and NFL Alumni Ernie Barnes: His Art & Inspiration” commemorates an exhibition in New York City that hosts Time Warner and the National Football League. A children’s book about the artist’s life, “Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery”, was published in 2018 with illustrations by Bryan Collier. Another children’s book, “Pigskins to Paintbrushes: The Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes,” written and illustrated by Don Tate, was published a few months ago.

SUPPORT CULTURE TYPE
Do you like and appreciate culture type? Please consider supporting the ongoing production by donating. Culture Type is an independent art history project that requires countless hours and expenses for research, reporting, writing and production. To help maintain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Thank you very much for your support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.