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Visual artist Richard Barton


Visual artist Richard Barton, born in Arkansas (1952), already wanted to become an artist as a child and dreamed of going to Europe. At the age of nineteen he moved to Belgium and initially worked as a chef-cook. He came in contact with two Flemish masters who gave him private lessons for a number of years. He learned a lot, especially painting techniques, from the realist Louis Jacques Camerlinckx (1920-1989), they became friends for life. The Expressionist Staff of Elzen (1915-1987) brought him knowledge in the field of color use and abstraction. Then he followed an art course in Antwerp.

His talent was already seen at a very young age. His mother encouraged artistry from an early age and his entire youth was all about drawing and painting. At High School he was given the opportunity to take additional art classes and at the age of fifteen he won the Arkansas State Prize for drawing.
In Belgium he was the founder of an art group called 'Asikan 22.40'. Originated as a response to society. Together they organized many exhibitions, especially in Belgium. Other well-known members of the group were Jan Latinne (1936) and Humberto Wouters (1920-1999).
Initially, Richard Barton painted impressionistic landscapes and became known as a landscape painter. These works were highly valued, especially in Belgium where he held exhibitions at that time. At one point he went back to America, to then continue the family business for a short time, but his heart was still with art.
A few years later he accepted a job as Artist in Education at The National Endowment for the Arts. As such, he taught children disabled for seven years.
He also set up an art center in his birthplace in Arkansas: The River Valley Arts Center. Here they started to hold exhibitions and teach.
Then he became chairman of the Rotary and still painted landscapes, they got a more expressionistic character. Landscapes in all colors of the rainbow. Red skies or purple trees were no exception.
The Barton landscapes became a household name and there were regular articles about the work in local newspapers, he also gave radio interviews. The landscapes became increasingly colorful; gradually his style became more expressionistic.
Nevertheless, Europe continued to be attractive for him and in the late eighties he settled in The Netherlands. He came in contact with the Dutch Art Dealer Mia Joosten. She was an icon in the art world and stood at TEFAF for twenty years.
Richard Barton was the last artist to add to her gallery, which she started only after she was sixty, just when she graduated from a university in art history in New York. She was of the same generation as Karel Appel, who also lived in New York; they had regular contact with each other. Unfortunately she deceased, at high age, for that reason Richard Barton is searching for new galleries to open renewed opportunities.
Back in Europe the work became more abstract; the typically two well-known expressionless figures were walking through the most macabre weather images. Other figures had more expression.
But even now he did not want to linger in the same thing and continue to develop until at a given moment he slowly let go of forms. Especially the attacks in New York have affected this. For years he painted abstracted flowers, in fresh, hopeful colors. Building entirely on his intuition, the paintings came about, without a preconceived plan; they had a very wide color palette.
Sometimes you missed an anchor point, something to hold on to, and now and then the landscape came back.
One of his strongest talents is to show an enormous explosiveness on the canvas. All in all, Richard Barton has developed a fully recognizable style over the years, also with the development in his personal life. The canvas tells a lot about the painter. Let's not forget how a space can get an atmosphere and give inspiration by the presence of beautiful art. It is often a missing link that adds a piece of human emotion.
Former President Bill Clinton attended a number of Richard Barton's exhibitions at The Capital Hotel in Little Rock, where election meetings were held. They were in contact for years; the governor of Arkansas used the insights of the artist in his campaign, which resulted in a successful election for president. We all remember the years of prosperity and peace during Bill Clinton's presidency, as well as his special ability to find the right words under all circumstances.
According to Uri Geller, art collector, who also was in personal contact with Salvador DalĂ­ at that time, called Richard Barton one of the greatest painters of all time in the field of abstract expressionism.
The paintings remain beautiful, even after years you can still see new forms and remarkable color nuances time after time.
The works are spontaneous and layer by layer, rich in color and it is easy to dream away.
We would like to invite you to take a good look at the work. Creativity can have a healing effect. Both in a person's personal life and in a broader sense. A painting can contribute in a good way to a pleasant atmosphere in a space.
In his life the artist is often concerned with finding a balance, with on the one hand the freedom to be able to make what he wants, and on the other side the limits of existence.With a clear demarcation of these boundaries, an almost boundless freedom can arise. Also freedom through obedience, sense of duty and structure.
In the time of Vincent van Gogh nobody could have thought that his work would ever become of great importance.The drama of his life and the great power of expression of the work have turned out to be more important than many people had ever thought.The colors and shapes that shaped his work have become indispensable and have been decisive for the developments in modern art.
A real artist must be creative. On the one hand, creating art is a primary necessity of life. On the other hand, he really needs to bring something new.The innovative in his work makes that he adds something to the spirit of the times, whereby shapes and colors influence the subconscious.The story behind the work determines the importance of this. It's about whether he really has something to say. Then with his art something can be told that is in some other way, in words, sometimes difficult to grasp.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Creativity is of great importance for the development of man. The work of Richard Barton is narrative and meaningful. He has lived a turbulent life. With a tremendous perseverance he has managed to build up a beautiful oeuvre. The story behind the work makes, so to speak, that it is important; his faith has brought this to him. Richard Lee Barton always works with oil paint, you need patience for that. It sometimes takes years before a work is well dry and hardened. The thick layers of paint reinforce the visual character. It all looks easy, that is more often the case with things that are difficult to make in reality. Forms are often lacking to allow the viewer to make his own images. Rationality is partially released, making the works more of a blueprint of the subconscious. The strength of the work comes from the character of the maker. It is an eternal renewal of the mind.

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