Name: Françoise Barnes
Born: Ajaccio, France
Lives and works: Los Ranchos, NM
Francoise Barnes’s titles give the viewer a quick point of entry to her abstract, mixed-media paintings on canvas, panel, or paper. Wall Flower carries the eye to a gestural flower receding below layers of paint—a literal wallflower in the center of a composition anchored by vibrant crimson and vermillion swaths around which a constellation of marks seems to orbit. Barnes is inspired by bits of nature that she collects and keeps in her studio including leaves, twigs, shells, seeds, rocks, feathers, insects, egg shells, etc. From these minuscule patterns and textural details, she zooms out her focus and begins to work the canvas in broad strokes of color and shape, a process she describes somewhere between a dance and combative exchange of blows between artist and artwork.
Barnes, born and raised in France, has been a painter and drawer from an early age and studied drawing at Ohio University after moving to the United States. Barnes also had an extensive career as a contemporary art quilt maker. In the 1970s she was one of the artists that established the Art Quilt movement, and in 1979 co-founded Quilt National, a biennial exhibition. For over 20 years she exhibited her art quilts, taught, juried, and lectured nationally and internationally. In 1992, she decided to focus exclusively on painting. Barnes is currently represented by Mariposa Gallery in Albuquerque.