Richard Barlow Goes Postal
2013 / mn daily / By joe Kleinschmidt
"Most of Richard Barlow’s recipients have no idea who’s sending mail to them. But when the artist picks someone for his “Daily Bromides” series of watercolors, he sends them one postcard every day for 30 days. “I thought I should send them anonymously to someone so that there’s no chance of them coming back,” he said. The project began as a lark — Barlow accidentally started his handmade art, dedicated to early 19th century photography, on the back of a postcard. After finishing one at the Interlochen Center for Arts, he decided he needed to send it off.
“There’s something that I really like about the idea that every day I have to let this thing go,” he said.
Though the University of Minnesota alumnus is known for large-scale visual art, the postcard project presented a new opportunity for interaction. “Bromides,” which refers to both platitudes and an early photographic process, gave Barlow a new space for communication."
2013 / City pages / By Sheila regan
"A trip to the mailbox these days is much more likely to yield utility bills and junk mail than anything meaningful. Our personal communications have shifted to texts, Facebook messages, and an email here or there. Artist Richard Barlow'sDaily Bromides project works against the trend. Over the course of the summer, he has painted the same photograph from memory every day, then mailed it out. The original image, Reflected Trees, was made by W.H. Fox-Talbot, the inventor of the silver negative photographic process. Barlow has been mailing the postcard paintings to the Shoebox Gallery, where they have been adding them to the storefront's wall as soon as they arrive."
I'll Take the Alleys: a Look at Murals in Philly and the Twin Cties
2013 / Minnpost / By katie hargrave
"It is true, there are a number of well-designed and executed murals throughout the cities, such as the newly completed Candy Chang mural near the Minneapolis Institute of Art (as part of the Artists in Storefronts project) or the abstract and metallic mural Richard Barlow painted in Powderhorn Park as part of an anti-graffiti campaign. I love these murals. Unlike many murals, which I suspect are designed to be there but not be seen. Candy’s interactive blackboard has a sense of humor and encourages us to really read the content. Barlow’s posterized image of the nearby park confounded me for months after I moved into the area. I’d walk by and stare at it without being able to see the image. Once I realized what it is, I couldn’t un-see it. The pleasure of understanding rings every time I pass."
Indoor Forest Therapy Courtesy of There's Only One
2012 / mnartists / By sarah peters
"There’s Only One is part of a series, Welcome to the Open, for which Barlow appropriates the imagery of nature used in SUV ads for Hummer and Jeep. His co-co-opting of the very scenes used to sell us an experience of the natural world – access the sublime through better auto travel! — adds a provocative conceptual dimension to the work’s already impressive form. And that source material makes the fragility of Barlow’s work all the more poignant, for unlike the enduring environmental effects of driving a Hummer, Barlow’s photographic drawing is here today and gone tomorrow – quite literally. His intricate chalk drawing will simply be wiped away at the close of the exhibition this weekend.
Barlow’s work here has the effect of a well-executed sleight of hand – immersed in his painstakingly rendered forest-of-chalk the viewer is genuinely transported, if only temporarily."
2011/2012 Jerome Emerging Artists Exhibition Catalog
2012 / exhibition catalog essay / By bartholomew ryan
"It is as if Barlow is removing the figure of the artist as the grand creator to replace it with the figure of himself as the somewhat gentler producer. In presenting nature itself as always already complicit with a very human agenda, he is giving us permission to engage with it again as something contingent and flawed but also potentially personal and, dare I say, real."
Bless This Artful Mess
2012 / minneapolis star tribune / By mary abbe
"Richard Barlow at first seems to be auditioning as a disco decorator. He has covered a rust-colored wall with thousands of shimmering black-and-gold plastic tabs that flutter like autumn leaves and would sparkle plenty under nightclub lights. Inspired by a 19th-century photo of trees, the pendulous forms in his evanescent mural also bring to mind Monet's famous paintings of his wisteria-covered Japanese bridge.
Nearby, Barlow has transformed imagery from automobile ads into elegantly minimal landscapes. Using rusty iron oxide as a pigment, he stained thick watercolor paper with ad-derived silhouettes that evoke the snow-crested mountains, forested shorelines and rocky inlets of the Northwest coast. Even if we've never zoomed through these iconic landscapes in an SUV, such imagery is so deeply embedded in our DNA that Barlow's poetic distillates tug at our minds with images of nature experienced, exploited, longing for and lost."
2011/2012 Jerome Emerging Artists Exhibition Opens at MCAD
2012 / City pages / By Sheila regan
"Richard Barlow's work, like Patrick's, utilizes a minimalist palette. His rust drawings depict woodsy scenes and lakes. They're interesting, but his Pixelated Bromide is so fabulous, it literally outshines them. Here, Barlow has created a huge landscape of gold sequins, which, like the rust drawings, show a forest setting. What's amazing is that they actually reflect on the floor, creating this beautiful double image that goes well with Patrick's work."
2012 / southwest journal / By dylan thomas
"A shimmering wall-sized piece by Barlow is the first thing most visitors will see, so that’s a good place to start. “Pixelated Bromide” is an installment in Barlow’s “Bromides” series, on ongoing visual meditation on a romantic landscape by early photographer Henry Fox Talbot.
In this case, Barlow performs a kind of analog-to-digital conversion of the image — a line of trees reflected in a pond — by shattering it into hundreds of “pixels,” each represented by individual sequins that shift and catch the light. It’s cheeky and a bit campy, a 19th-century photograph dressed-up in Pop Art drag.
Barlow also contributes a series of iron oxide-on-paper drawings of forest scenes that essentially are watercolors made with rust: nature’s majesty seen through the reddish-orange mist of decaying industry."
Of Landscape and Place
2012 / Quodlibetica / By Christina Schmid
"To end on a speculative note, it is interesting to note that Vossler’s “Overlook: Landscape Studies” is part of what seems to be a surge of interest in landscape. Last year, Richard Barlow showed “Crow’s Nest” at Macalester, an exhibit that included large-scale chalk drawings of forests."
Richard Barlow and the Manipulation of Meaning
2011 / City pages / By Sheila regan
"Taken as a whole, the works Barlow each have intrinsic beauty in their own right, but what is great about the exhibit is the way that the artist challenges the viewer to think about how people perceive things, illustrating both the image-maker's role in manipulating artworks, but also in the power the viewer has to bring their own perception to the experience."
The Sylvan Screen: Richard Barlow and Regan Golden
2010 / exhibition catalog essay / By Dr. Jane Blocker
" ...Rich Barlow's work contemplates the scene of ownership and knowledge from a different vantage. Rather than making photographs of a landscape, he collects 12" record album covers, which employ various land and seascapes that Roland Barthes would have called mythological. Mythologies are, for Barthes, the "decorative display of what-goes-without-saying , the ideological abuse" which is hidden in the naturalness of images. Barlow reproduces these familiar, sometimes generic pictures, such as the cover from the Cure's 1980 single "A Forest," with silver leaf on layers of vellum. The resulting works are at once intentionally clichéd landscapes, freighted, as I said before, with all manner of leaden allusions, and complex conceptual images that, like Golden's photographs, undermine the viewer's easy possession of the places they depict. "
Venture into the Woods
2010 / TC Daily Planet / By Mason riddle
" ...each "cover" has been drained of any indentifying information- text, artist, or visual detail. We are left with a landscape in silhouette, a landscape flattened, reflective, and constantly shifting as we shift viewpoints. The eye strains to identify the images' elements and, for music buffs, the album itself. Something understood and remembered as so common is now out of reach. Where the deep woods is metaphorically and literally about entering, we are now left out, excluded by the flat shimmering and abstract surface. It is neither fearful nor inviting; conceptually it is no more or less than what is offered. It simply is. "
The Metro 100
2010 / Metro Magazine / By Chuck terhark, chris clayton and mary o'regan
"Call it Extreme Home Makeover for the contemporary art set. Every few months or so, Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin turn their New London, Minn. home into a public art installation by artists of their choosing. Past invitees include Debora Miller, whoprojected nature photos onto the home's exterior, and Richard Barlow, whose floor-to-ceiling wall paintings were a scream."
From the Home Front
2010 / Public Art Review / By Jon Spayde
"Other icons proliferated in our towns last summer and fall. Richard Barlow completed a black-and-white [sic] mural near Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis that highlights haunting, grainy details from a landscape image by nineteenth century photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot."
2010 / architecture Minnesota / By matthew and jen kreilich
"Minneapolis is one big summer art gallery, thanks to muralists like Broken Crow and the adventurous building owners who provide the canvases."
Landescape at Thomas Barry
2009 / Art Review and Preview / By Andy Sturdevant
"The presence and absence of people in the natural world is central to a series of silver-leaf assemblages on vellum by Rich Barlow entitled Covers. Barlow has taken a series of both well-known and obscure LP album covers depicting outdoor scenes and removed the text and human figures, stripping them down to simple natural surroundings. Removing the artists entirely from the natural settings of their album covers creates a paradox that both confirms and undermines their personal stances on their place in the natural world."
Landescape: Rich Barlow's "Covers"
2009 / eyeteeth / By paul schmelzer
"Barlow's "Covers" series, part of the group show Landescape now on view at Minneapolis' Thomas Barry Gallery, plays with notions of landscape and subtly suggests an interrogation of what landscape is and how we ascribe significance -- or commonly in the realm of rock records, myth. [...] this series seems not to grasp for meaning but to muddle it in dreamy layers of vellum and foil, raising more questions than answers. "
Fighting Graffiti with Murals
2009 / MPR /
By Marianne Combs
"In a wide alley of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, artist Richard
Barlow is almost finished painting a mural. It's not your typical brightly
colored neighborhood pride statement. This mural is silver and white, and
depicts the negative - and positive - of a photograph of trees on water.
Barlow says he's been fascinated with how early photographers sought to
be "painterly" in their images. Now Barlow's creating paintings
inspired by those photographs."
2008 / Art
Review and Preview / By Ariel Pate
"Daily Bromides, the postcard series, repeats Henry Fox Talbot's Trees
Reflected in Water, one of the earliest examples of landscape photography.
In some respects they invoke classic painterly discipline like that of Monet,
whose daily haystacks are never the same; but it is also an interesting mental
exploration of the relationship between painting and photography. Trees Reflected
was intended to resemble a painting -- photography had yet to find the power
of its verite. The Daily Bromides find interest in the observational acuity
photographs take for granted. Bromide in the title becomes a pun and adds
meaning as such: it was a chemical used in the creation of daguerreotypes,
the repetitive nature of photo, the early impulse for photographers to imitate
Territories Real and Imagined
2008 / MNartists / By Mason Riddle
"Using LP album covers as his point of departure, Barlow appropriates their
landscape images, rendering them anew as square-format works in silver metallic
leaf on vellum, stripped of any titles or names. The resulting reductive image
is ghostly, even eerie; and when viewed in a group of 25, the series accrues
a collective visual power that extends beyond any individual work. Devoid of
color and text, these no longer suggest particular musicians or songs of an album
cover, but exist more like an echo or shadow, evocative of a conceptual, rhythmic
passage of time."
Piece of Cake
2008 / Daily
Browse four categories (collectible, hangable, readable, wearable) for pieces
like Brenna Burns’s baby buck ink drawings, Richard Barlow’s Book
of Knots, and pistol-packing silver necklaces by Anomaly jeweler Karen Yost.
Outré creations like Kirk Stoller’s intestinally suggestive sculpture
are best viewed in person.
Summertime Blues, Mauves and a Little Gold Leaf
2007 / MNartists /
By Mason Riddle
"Richard Barlow’s mixed-media-on-panel painting Silver Bromide (2007)
recalls in spirit a stylized landscape painting by the Arts & Crafts painter
Arthur Wesley Dow. In fact, it is closely based on a black-and-white landscape
photograph by the nineteenth-century English photographer Henry Fox Talbot. Bathed
in a luminous golden glow, the painting depicts a row of dark shadowy trees whose
reflections are seen in the glassy surface of a lake. Photographers of Talbot’s
era frequently worked in a dreamy, pictorial mode to emulate the qualities of
painting. Barlow’s Silver Bromide has taken the conceit one step further
by creating in paint what was originally a moody, romantic photograph. That the
work is named for the emulsion coating photographic print paper is a witty touché.
An image of Talbot’s original photograph would have made for a nice context."
'Biennial 23’ Really 14 Small Shows in
2005 / South
Use Whatever You Have
2005 / Minnesota
Daily / By Claire Joseph