Scott Barber

McKinney Avenue Contemporary/Barry Whistler Gallery

Painter Scott Barber, who died last year of complications following a bone marrow transplant, was recently the subject of two concurrent shows in Dallas. McKinney Avenue Contemporary (known locally as the MAC) presented a survey of works spanning the last decade of his life, while across town, Barry Whistler Gallery exhibited a suite of twenty-six acrylics on paper made between 2003 and 2005.

At the MAC, it was possible to trace Barber’s development through his experimentation with materials to his realization of a refined, idiosyncratic visual language. Works from the 1990s such as Numb Trust I, 1998, are distinguished by systems of amorphous globules that hover somewhere between biomorphic abstractions and deconstructed stills from TV cartoons. In their deceptively simple compositions, such works play a witty game with modernist aesthetics, melding painterly formalism with the flatness

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