Painter Will Barnet died Tuesday at the age of 101. In the New York Times obituary, Ken Johnson writes "In the prints and paintings that he produced from the mid-1960s on, Mr. Barnet ranged between a simplified form of realism and a poetic, visionary symbolism."
In 2011, the Times' Hilarie M. Sheets noted that Barnet who "taught artists including Cy Twombly, Tom Wesselmann, Eva Hesse, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko and Donald Judd… always felt his figurative and abstract painting shared a unity in terms of structure and taking liberties with form." In a 2009 interview he told Pamela Koob: "My relationship with the art world was always tied up with history. What I was doing related to the past, but it was fresh in the sense that I had reinterpreted ideas in a more contemporary sense…. I wasn’t worried about what was going on in the art world; I was worried about getting a good painting. in many ways I was against the grain. I’m sorry to say it, I hate to do it — I would love to be part of everything, but that is what happens."