Study for Wallpiece

Drawing: Acrylic and graphite on wove paper
13 1/8 x 12 3/8 in.
Date: 1983

The Vogels began buying Robert Barry’s work in 1969 and have included it in the gifts to all fifty institutions in their project. This drawing from 1983 is a study for a full-scale work exhibited the same year at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. At the center of the design is the image of a tree, barely perceptible under layers of brilliant blue paint. The words inscribed around the perimeter of the composition act as an extension of the branches and roots of the tree. The open-ended and tentative nature of these phrases—especially “seems,” “not often,” and “allowed to”—suggest undefined actions or an unknown state of being.

All works by Robert Barry
RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design
Accession: 2009.59.1
  • The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Rhode Island. RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, July 20, 2012 – December 2, 2012.

The information related to this object is presented on behalf of RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design. Questions or comments?