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At The Wall by Ernie Barnes

Ernie Barnes Biography

Ernie Barnes

American contemporary artist, Ernie Barnes is an exceptional FIGURATIVE painter and former professional football player.

His involvement with art began at an early age, like most gifted adult artists. However, when he reached high school his creative endeavors were temporarily detoured in his determination to become a successful athlete.. He graduated from his high school a star football player, and with 26 athletic scholarships to choose from. He chose North Carolina Central University and a major in art. After college, he continued in an illustrious professional athletic career, but never let his love for football overshadow his love for art. Football gave him an enormous satisfaction of achievement, of being able to do something extremely difficult, and do it well. Art, however, allowed him the privilege to interpret for the public his concepts of the relationship between art and life.

In 1966, Ernie Barnes retired from football to commit himself to his art. His athletic career made a special contribution to his sensibility and his art, and he often weds physical with artistic expression. Many of his subjects are satirical and he uses exaggeration, and even caricature, to enhance their mood, humor and physical vitality. Seen through Barnes' dramatic-comic vision, human figures play out their roles in a contemporary scenario in a manner that is both entertaining and finely executed. It can easily be said that Barnes has more than established himself as one among America's leading contemporary painters.

A selected list of his EXHIBITIONS is as follows:

  • 1979: North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina

  • 1976: City Museum, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • 1975: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Center, Brooklyn, N.Y

  • North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

  • 1974: Museum of African Arts, Washington, D.C.

  • 1973: High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

  • 1972: Science and Industry Museum, Los Angeles, Cal.

  • 1971: Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, North Carolina

  • Agra Gallery, Washington, D.C.

  • 1969: Mckenzie Gallery, Los Angeles, California

  • 1968: Mckenzie Gallery, Los Angeles, California

  • 1966: Grand Central Art Gallery, New York

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