Richard Barlow visual art
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Touring the Surreal at the Wassaic Project's Winter Show  
2022 / Tri-Corner News / Elias Sorich

"Sequana, which he considers to be a singular work, covers every wall in the Maxon Mills' entry-room. This means two things -- first, that creating it took a week's worth of eight-hour days. Second, is that after the exhibition ends, Barlow's drawings will disappear with it. This kind of ephemerality is a unifying concept in Barlow's work, one that he hopes evokes the climate crisis. "The environmental concern of these landscapes was central for me. That by our presence in the gallery, these hopefully beautiful drawings we want to consume are threatened, and will go away. And then, maybe it makes you think about whether the landscapes they depict will go away."


Art From Here  
2023 / Poughkeepsie Journal / Melissa Dvozenja-Thomas

"Walking into the space, you are met by an open room where the walls are monumentally draped with chalk drawings from floor to ceiling. This work by Richard Barlow speaks to the threatened water reserves in the Hudson Valley. Taking in the work from a distance, you can see the ripples in the water as it moves around the stones with the reflection of the towering trees."


Becoming Trees 
2022 / exhibition catalog / Fritz Horstman

"Richard Barlow's silver leaf drawing Mount Eerie, from his series Covers, reproduces the natue imagery from an album cover, while removing all words and signifiers. Made on three layers of translucent vellum, the drawing leaves us to consider what the landscape imagery might convey on its own and compare it to the memory of the original design's intent. Barlow's drawing of craggy trees is haunting and elegant, both building on and critiquing the same image used on Mount Eerie's 2003 album cover. Elsewhere in the exhibition, he has created a large wall drawing of a strangely symmetrical forest, which similarly asks us to consider how we perceive and make use of pictures of nature."


Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region
2020 / exhibition catalog / SUSAN Cross

"Richard Barlow takes on the historic landscape in a large wall drawing in chalk, his choice of such an ephemeral medium and his nod to Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire might be warning us not just about society’s decline, but nature’s destruction as well."


Broken Compass
2019 / Catalog Essay / George Philip Lebourdais

"Richard Barlow gives us views that are both grander and more delicate. With large wall drawings based on projected photographs, his site-specific work offers a unique view of the Arctic that comes closest to conveying how small humans feel in a massive landscape. But the drawings' most salient trait is their transience. At the end of the show, the wall will be repainted, the artwork destroyed. This temporary nature provides fitting analogue for the ephemerality of Arctic ice: Now you see it, now you don't."


Time Will Tell 
2019 / Tulsa People / Alicia Chesser Atkin

"In "The Sea of Ice, Receding," Barlow covers a long horizontal wall with a meticulously detailed chalk drawing of ice floes at the edge of the Arctic's melting pack ice, inspired by photographs he took during a residency in the Arctic Circle. [...] "Once I started working on these images, the metaphorical meanings of the fragility of the medium, and its fleeting presence, felt like they clearly mapped onto both the ecological and existential concepts within my work." [...] For both Barlow and Phillips, the sheer physical effort involved in creating these works is a way of pulling these geopolitical realities out of the abstract and into the embodied. As well, Barlow explained, "the idea of the amount of labor inscribed in the work adds more charge to the fact of its eventual erasure." His chalk drawing will be erased at the end of the exhibit. "


Art Goes Beneath the Surface
2018 / the daily gazette / indiana nash

"A large monochromatic work on chalkboard by Richard Barlow, called “The Sea of Ice, Receding,” spans three walls and it’s hard not to feel a sense of drifting desolation when standing before it."


Nature Themed Exhibit at Albany Center Gallery
2018 / Albany times union / william jaeger

"The site-specific drawings by Richard Barlow are another reason to perk up. On two vertical floor-to-ceiling sections in the center of the gallery, Barlow drew trees right on the walls, using white chalk on a black ground. They help transform the space, much as his similar but very much larger drawing did in the full Mohawk-Hudson Regional last year at the Albany Institute of History and Art.

These might threaten to steal the show, but really the best work here is in the smallest pieces, including Barlow's own series of delicate, minimalist drawings on vellum, beautifully complicated by layers of silver leaf. These are landscapes and evocations of place, some with trees in foreground and background, all rendered in silver and shadowy shades of platinum gray. The beauty is quite tactile, something to see firsthand."


On Exhibit
2018 / the daily gazette / indiana nash

"Perhaps the most initially striking pieces are Barlow’s large chalk installations. He perfectly captures the feeling of stepping into the woods with two large wall installations. Since it is drawn in such a temporary medium, one that can be smudged or changed simply by someone brushing up against it, the installations speak to the environmental focus of the exhibition."


2017 Mohawk Hudson Regional Exhibit Smart, Cogent
2017 / Albany times union / william jaeger

"The largest gallery is the most precious, focusing on landscape in all its brooding delicacy. At one end is a wall-to-wall white-chalk-on-black drawing of dense woods by Richard Barlow. It's nothing if not impressive."


New York Foundation for the Arts Names 2017 Fellows
2017 / artnews / alex greenberger

"The New York Foundation for the Arts has named its 2017 Fellows. Ninety-five artists are being recognized [...] selected from 2,774 applicants."


The Art of Letting Go
2017 / ART 21 Magazine / Mark reamy

"Travel is an ephemeral experience, and, when I considered the theme of rust, I realized that many of the artists I’d met addressed ephemerality through their work. I have known John Steck, Jr. and Richard Barlow for just a season, and their art shares a common theme: decay. While Steck uses photography to capture momentary images, making abstract prints that fade away, Barlow creates large-scale temporary drawings with chalk."

Seeing Beyond Nature, With Other Eyes
2017 / Catalog essay / George Philip Lebourdais

"Paint peeling inside the buildings of Pyramiden, an abandoned Soviet-era mining facility, was beautiful on its own, a lovely detail amidst ghostly decay. But in the work of Richard Barlow, the mottled surface of peeling walls become unmoored maps of northern islands. Reducing the layers of color to black and white contours, he created another 100 Arctic archipelagos with blank interior lands. Though it may lie in ruins, the built environment of Pyramiden expands into a greater geography in this series. We are left to wonder what, if anything, lives on the jagged coastlines of Barlow’s numerous drawings."


Elemental Catalog
2016 / munson williams proctor art institute / mary murray, curator

"Richard Barlow would seem to be working on the continuum from Hudson River School paintings through John Ford films that have nurtured American iconography, our associations between majestic landscapes, the divine, and national identity. [...] But this isn't even Barlow's main point. He is more intrigued by human perception, how we invest spaces -- and nature -- with meaning and how that in turn informs memory."


On the Bright Side
2016 / oneonta Daily Star / jessica reynolds

"Barlow said the massive drawing is based on photos he took of what remains of a small group of trees near where he grew up in Harlow, a town in Essex, England. Barlow, who moved to America with his family in 1977, recently revisited the spot, where he used to play and spend his days, and at least half of the trees had been cut down, he said. His drawing attempts to reconstruct his memories of the site by suggesting that the viewer is surrounded by the trees, still standing tall and in their glory."


64th Exhibition of CNY Artists
2016 / utica observer dispatch / alissa scott

"In a room adjoining the main exhibit, artist Richard Barlow of Oneonta took chalkboard paint to the four walls. Over that, he created a tree-speckled landscape entirely in chalk."


Weisman Art Museum: Focus on the Collection 
2015 / weisman art Museum / Kate Heller

"While creating his first Bromide series, Barlow became fascinated with photography's role in deferring an image of the original scene. In the case of Trees and Reflections, it was a calotype photograph of the scene. What is more, Barlow was not working from the original calotype photograph; he was working from a JPEG image of the calotype. In reality, Barlow found that he was looking at nothing more than the pixels of a calotype of an original scene. Newly inspired, Barlow created Pixelated Bromide, composed of thousands of sequins, during his Jerome Fellowship in 2012."


Gloom, Doom and Glory
2015 / Artfcity / paddy johnson

"This year the show, called Deep End for its exploration of the strange and dystopian, showcases more than 60 artists on all seven floors of the mill."


Putting Down Roots
2015 / catskill made / hope von stengel

"One of my favorite of his series of work, Covers, asks fundamental questions about how and why we attribute memory and significance to images in the natural world. Each work is based on landscape imagery from various album covers; taken out of their original context, it was impossible to relate the drawings of forests, sunsets, and mountains to their original meaning. Created from multiple layers of silver leaf on vellum, the drawings appear precious. Before knowing anything about the work, I projected and assigned value, believing that each work reflected a powerful memory or significant place in Rich’s life—as most of the images could be drawn from my own composite of experiences."

Studio Visit
2015 / Studio visit magazine / open studios press

"These pieces come from two ongoing series. In the Welcome to the Open series I appropriate the landscape imagery from SUV advertisements. In the Bromides I work with the nineteenth century photograph Reflected Trees, by Fox Talbot, the inventor of the silver negative photographic process. Each explores how images produce meaning. "


2014 / composite magazine #17: Educators / Zach Clark, ed.

"In Working with the photograph, though, I became more and more fascinated by how this photograph worked as a commentary on the proliferation of images, and had this deferral embedded within it. Not only is the photo in the style of a painting, it is an image of an image being produced -- the trees themselves are doubled in their reflection."


35 Years of Paper in Particular
2014 / Columbia Daily Tribune / By aarik danielsen

"Side by side hang New York based Richard Barlow's "Pinnacle" and Lincoln, Neb. artist Michael Herres' "Santa Fe 3." The two vistas have a common heart but very different visages. The former, created with iron oxide, coats a gorgeous mountain scene in a rich layer of rust, as if ingraining its earthiness into the memory"


Artist of the Month
2014 / O-Town Scene / By emily popek

"Barlow's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. His chalk drawings on blackboard paint are part of a group exhibit, 'Into the Woods,' on display at Hartwick College through Jan 31."


Richard Barlow Goes Postal
2013 / mn daily / By joe Kleinschmidt

"Most of Richard Barlow’s recipients have no idea who’s sending mail to them. But when the artist picks someone for his “Daily Bromides” series of watercolors, he sends them one postcard every day for 30 days. “I thought I should send them anonymously to someone so that there’s no chance of them coming back,” he said. The project began as a lark — Barlow accidentally started his handmade art, dedicated to early 19th century photography, on the back of a postcard. After finishing one at the Interlochen Center for Arts, he decided he needed to send it off.
“There’s something that I really like about the idea that every day I have to let this thing go,” he said.

Though the University of Minnesota alumnus is known for large-scale visual art, the postcard project presented a new opportunity for interaction. “Bromides,” which refers to both platitudes and an early photographic process, gave Barlow a new space for communication."


Daily Bromides
2013 / City pages / By Sheila regan

"A trip to the mailbox these days is much more likely to yield utility bills and junk mail than anything meaningful. Our personal communications have shifted to texts, Facebook messages, and an email here or there. Artist Richard Barlow'sDaily Bromides project works against the trend. Over the course of the summer, he has painted the same photograph from memory every day, then mailed it out. The original image, Reflected Trees, was made by W.H. Fox-Talbot, the inventor of the silver negative photographic process. Barlow has been mailing the postcard paintings to the Shoebox Gallery, where they have been adding them to the storefront's wall as soon as they arrive."


I'll Take the Alleys: a Look at Murals in Philly and the Twin Cties
2013 / Minnpost / By katie hargrave

"It is true, there are a number of well-designed and executed murals throughout the cities, such as the newly completed Candy Chang mural near the Minneapolis Institute of Art (as part of the Artists in Storefronts project) or the abstract and metallic mural Richard Barlow painted in Powderhorn Park as part of an anti-graffiti campaign. I love these murals. Unlike many murals, which I suspect are designed to be there but not be seen. Candy’s interactive blackboard has a sense of humor and encourages us to really read the content. Barlow’s posterized image of the nearby park confounded me for months after I moved into the area. I’d walk by and stare at it without being able to see the image. Once I realized what it is, I couldn’t un-see it. The pleasure of understanding rings every time I pass."


Indoor Forest Therapy Courtesy of There's Only One
2012 / mnartists / By sarah peters

"There’s Only One is part of a series, Welcome to the Open, for which Barlow appropriates the imagery of nature used in SUV ads for Hummer and Jeep. His co-co-opting of the very scenes used to sell us an experience of the natural world – access the sublime through better auto travel! — adds a provocative conceptual dimension to the work’s already impressive form.  And that source material makes the fragility of Barlow’s work all the more poignant, for unlike the enduring environmental effects of driving a Hummer, Barlow’s photographic drawing is here today and gone tomorrow – quite literally. His intricate chalk drawing will simply be wiped away at the close of the exhibition this weekend.
Barlow’s work here has the effect of a well-executed sleight of hand – immersed in his painstakingly rendered forest-of-chalk the viewer is genuinely transported, if only temporarily."


2011/2012 Jerome Emerging Artists Exhibition Catalog
2012 / exhibition catalog essay / By bartholomew ryan

"It is as if Barlow is removing the figure of the artist as the grand creator to replace it with the figure of himself as the somewhat gentler producer. In presenting nature itself as always already complicit with a very human agenda, he is giving us permission to engage with it again as something contingent and flawed but also potentially personal and, dare I say, real."


Bless This Artful Mess
2012 / minneapolis star tribune / By mary abbe

"Richard Barlow at first seems to be auditioning as a disco decorator. He has covered a rust-colored wall with thousands of shimmering black-and-gold plastic tabs that flutter like autumn leaves and would sparkle plenty under nightclub lights. Inspired by a 19th-century photo of trees, the pendulous forms in his evanescent mural also bring to mind Monet's famous paintings of his wisteria-covered Japanese bridge.

Nearby, Barlow has transformed imagery from automobile ads into elegantly minimal landscapes. Using rusty iron oxide as a pigment, he stained thick watercolor paper with ad-derived silhouettes that evoke the snow-crested mountains, forested shorelines and rocky inlets of the Northwest coast. Even if we've never zoomed through these iconic landscapes in an SUV, such imagery is so deeply embedded in our DNA that Barlow's poetic distillates tug at our minds with images of nature experienced, exploited, longing for and lost."


2011/2012 Jerome Emerging Artists Exhibition Opens at MCAD
2012 / City pages / By Sheila regan

"Richard Barlow's work, like Patrick's, utilizes a minimalist palette. His rust drawings depict woodsy scenes and lakes. They're interesting, but his Pixelated Bromide is so fabulous, it literally outshines them. Here, Barlow has created a huge landscape of gold sequins, which, like the rust drawings, show a forest setting. What's amazing is that they actually reflect on the floor, creating this beautiful double image that goes well with Patrick's work."


2012 / southwest journal / By dylan thomas

"A shimmering wall-sized piece by Barlow is the first thing most visitors will see, so that’s a good place to start. “Pixelated Bromide” is an installment in Barlow’s “Bromides” series, on ongoing visual meditation on a romantic landscape by early photographer Henry Fox Talbot.

In this case, Barlow performs a kind of analog-to-digital conversion of the image — a line of trees reflected in a pond — by shattering it into hundreds of “pixels,” each represented by individual sequins that shift and catch the light. It’s cheeky and a bit campy, a 19th-century photograph dressed-up in Pop Art drag.

Barlow also contributes a series of iron oxide-on-paper drawings of forest scenes that essentially are watercolors made with rust: nature’s majesty seen through the reddish-orange mist of decaying industry."

Of Landscape and Place
2012 / Quodlibetica / By Christina Schmid

"To end on a speculative note, it is interesting to note that Vossler’s “Overlook: Landscape Studies” is part of what seems to be a surge of interest in landscape. Last year, Richard Barlow showed “Crow’s Nest” at Macalester, an exhibit that included large-scale chalk drawings of forests."


Richard Barlow and the Manipulation of Meaning
2011 / City pages / By Sheila regan

"Taken as a whole, the works Barlow each have intrinsic beauty in their own right, but what is great about the exhibit is the way that the artist challenges the viewer to think about how people perceive things, illustrating both the image-maker's role in manipulating artworks, but also in the power the viewer has to bring their own perception to the experience."

The Sylvan Screen: Richard Barlow and Regan Golden

2010 / exhibition catalog essay / By Dr. Jane Blocker

" ...Rich Barlow's work contemplates the scene of ownership and knowledge from a different vantage.   Rather than making photographs of a landscape, he collects 12" record album covers, which employ various land and seascapes that Roland Barthes would have called mythological.   Mythologies are, for Barthes, the "decorative display of what-goes-without-saying , the ideological abuse" which is hidden in the naturalness of images. Barlow reproduces these familiar, sometimes generic pictures, such as the cover from the Cure's 1980 single "A Forest," with silver leaf on layers of vellum.   The resulting works are at once intentionally clichéd landscapes, freighted, as I said before, with all manner of leaden allusions, and complex conceptual images that, like Golden's photographs, undermine the viewer's easy possession of the places they depict. "

Venture into the Woods
2010 / TC Daily Planet / By Mason riddle

" ...each "cover" has been drained of any indentifying information- text, artist, or visual detail. We are left with a landscape in silhouette, a landscape flattened, reflective, and constantly shifting as we shift viewpoints. The eye strains to identify the images' elements and, for music buffs, the album itself. Something understood and remembered as so common is now out of reach. Where the deep woods is metaphorically and literally about entering, we are now left out, excluded by the flat shimmering and abstract surface. It is neither fearful nor inviting; conceptually it is no more or less than what is offered. It simply is. "

The Metro 100
2010 / Metro Magazine / By Chuck terhark, chris clayton and mary o'regan

"Call it Extreme Home Makeover for the contemporary art set. Every few months or so, Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin turn their New London, Minn. home into a public art installation by artists of their choosing. Past invitees include Debora Miller, whoprojected nature photos onto the home's exterior, and Richard Barlow, whose floor-to-ceiling wall paintings were a scream."


From the Home Front
2010 / Public Art Review / By Jon Spayde

"Other icons proliferated in our towns last summer and fall. Richard Barlow completed a black-and-white [sic] mural near Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis that highlights haunting, grainy details from a landscape image by nineteenth century photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot."

Culture Crawl
2010 / architecture Minnesota / By matthew and jen kreilich

"Minneapolis is one big summer art gallery, thanks to muralists like Broken Crow and the adventurous building owners who provide the canvases."

Landescape at Thomas Barry
2009 / Art Review and Preview / By Andy Sturdevant

"The presence and absence of people in the natural world is central to a series of silver-leaf assemblages on vellum by Rich Barlow entitled Covers. Barlow has taken a series of both well-known and obscure LP album covers depicting outdoor scenes and removed the text and human figures, stripping them down to simple natural surroundings. Removing the artists entirely from the natural settings of their album covers creates a paradox that both confirms and undermines their personal stances on their place in the natural world."

Landescape: Rich Barlow's "Covers"
2009 / eyeteeth / By paul schmelzer

"Barlow's "Covers" series, part of the group show Landescape now on view at Minneapolis' Thomas Barry Gallery, plays with notions of landscape and subtly suggests an interrogation of what landscape is and how we ascribe significance -- or commonly in the realm of rock records, myth. [...] this series seems not to grasp for meaning but to muddle it in dreamy layers of vellum and foil, raising more questions than answers. "

Fighting Graffiti with Murals
2009 / MPR / By Marianne Combs

"In a wide alley of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, artist Richard Barlow is almost finished painting a mural. It's not your typical brightly colored neighborhood pride statement. This mural is silver and white, and depicts the negative - and positive - of a photograph of trees on water. Barlow says he's been fascinated with how early photographers sought to be "painterly" in their images. Now Barlow's creating paintings inspired by those photographs."

Review Revue
2008 / Art Review and Preview / By Ariel Pate

"Daily Bromides, the postcard series, repeats Henry Fox Talbot's Trees Reflected in Water, one of the earliest examples of landscape photography. In some respects they invoke classic painterly discipline like that of Monet, whose daily haystacks are never the same; but it is also an interesting mental exploration of the relationship between painting and photography. Trees Reflected was intended to resemble a painting -- photography had yet to find the power of its verite. The Daily Bromides find interest in the observational acuity photographs take for granted. Bromide in the title becomes a pun and adds meaning as such: it was a chemical used in the creation of daguerreotypes, the repetitive nature of photo, the early impulse for photographers to imitate paint."

Territories Real and Imagined
2008 / MNartists / By Mason Riddle

"Using LP album covers as his point of departure, Barlow appropriates their landscape images, rendering them anew as square-format works in silver metallic leaf on vellum, stripped of any titles or names. The resulting reductive image is ghostly, even eerie; and when viewed in a group of 25, the series accrues a collective visual power that extends beyond any individual work. Devoid of color and text, these no longer suggest particular musicians or songs of an album cover, but exist more like an echo or shadow, evocative of a conceptual, rhythmic passage of time."

Piece of Cake
2008 / Daily Candy

Browse four categories (collectible, hangable, readable, wearable) for pieces like Brenna Burns’s baby buck ink drawings, Richard Barlow’s Book of Knots, and pistol-packing silver necklaces by Anomaly jeweler Karen Yost. Outré creations like Kirk Stoller’s intestinally suggestive sculpture are best viewed in person.

Summertime Blues, Mauves and a Little Gold Leaf
2007 / MNartists / By Mason Riddle

"Richard Barlow’s mixed-media-on-panel painting Silver Bromide (2007) recalls in spirit a stylized landscape painting by the Arts & Crafts painter Arthur Wesley Dow. In fact, it is closely based on a black-and-white landscape photograph by the nineteenth-century English photographer Henry Fox Talbot. Bathed in a luminous golden glow, the painting depicts a row of dark shadowy trees whose reflections are seen in the glassy surface of a lake. Photographers of Talbot’s era frequently worked in a dreamy, pictorial mode to emulate the qualities of painting. Barlow’s Silver Bromide has taken the conceit one step further by creating in paint what was originally a moody, romantic photograph. That the work is named for the emulsion coating photographic print paper is a witty touché. An image of Talbot’s original photograph would have made for a nice context."

'Biennial 23’ Really 14 Small Shows in One
2005 / South Bend Tribune

Use Whatever You Have
2005 / Minnesota Daily / By Claire Joseph