Modernism, as a style that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century, remains highly prominent for our present postmodernist (or even post-ism-ic) culture, as demonstrated by various exhibitions across the globe, which have provoked great public and critical reaction. These show a prevailing and potent need to revisit this style, in order to understand what relevance it has now.
Modernism retains an important visual influence on contemporary artists, whilst its meaning and legacy continue to provoke critical debate, one sourced by and leading from the unavoidable juxtaposition and linkage that modernism has with World War and revolution.  This is highly controversial, and feeds the style’s attraction, as its resurgence verifies.  In consideration of this one can turn to a contemporary practitioner of modernism to extend a new perspective.  This is gained from Allen Barker, as a modernist painter who applies, in his words, “sensuous, intuitive logic” to his genre of ‘Colour, Field Painting’.  This brings a life to modernist lines.

Barker’s prominence stretches to the 1960s and 70s, and he has had over thirty one man shows during the past thirty five years, crossing the globe from Sweden to Japan, Holland and Austria. His continuing absorption of and particular yield from modernist statutes can cast light and life on this era.  Barker’s ability to take the virtues of the modernist line, and engage it with the senses as a life form, provides its extension.


Copyright 2011