Robert Barry, ‘Untitled’, 2001, Renaissance Society

In May 1985, The Renaissance Society presented an exhibition of five word artworks by Robert Barry: four separate wall pieces each with words written or "drawn" over colored walls; and a fifth sound piece of a continuous tape of spoken words separated by periods of silence.

The Renaissance Society

About Robert Barry

Since the 1960s Robert Barry has been creating conceptual artworks in a variety of forms. Transcending the physical limitations of space and material, he has employed radio waves as medium, and performance, installation, and attempted telepathy as technique, challenging what would be accepted as “typical” artistic practice or experience. For his “word list” installations, Barry imprints capitalized words directly on walls or surfaces to evoke narrative and inspire contemplation. Barry encourages free association of meaning to his work. In 2007, an installation entitled “Art and War” included large words such as DOUBT, WITHOUT, and DESPERATE placed at random angles on the walls of a residential space. The title of the piece references Sun Tzu's famous Taoist text, The Art of War, the chosen words a reflection on language, time, and human nature.

American, b. 1936, Bronx, New York