Richard Barnes

Animal Logic

June 2 - July 3, 2011

Photographer Richard Barnes has spent more than a decade documenting the way we assemble, contain, and catalog the natural world. His series "Animal Logic" looks at museums as 'containers' of the celebrated and the forgotten, the odd and the everyday, and representative of the dreams and aspirations of the person, culture, or nation that assembled such collections. Barnes peels back layers of artifice to reveal the tangle of artistry, craftsmanship, and curatorial decisions which come together in the creation of lifelike dioramas and meticulously arranged display cases. "Animal Logic" investigates both the human desire to construct artificial worlds for 'the wild' and the haunting and poignant worlds the real wild constructs. At Blue Sky this month, several large-format color prints from the series reveal the often unnatural side of natural history museums.

New York-based photographer Richard Barnes was a recipient of the Rome Prize for 2005-06. His photographs of the cabin of Ted Kaczynski, aka the "Unabomber," were featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and awarded the Alfred Eisenstadt Award for Photography.Barnes's work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Harvard Photographic Archive. Barnes has lectured extensively, at such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and Parsons School of Art in Manhattan, as well as for the lecture series of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Friends of Photography, where he has also led workshops. He holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked as adjunct professor/visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute and taught in the same capacity at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.