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Bill Barrett Sculpture: 9/11 Memorial Museum

BARRETT lexeme vii 911 muse

Bill Barretts (BS 58, MSDES 59, MFA 60) LEXEME VII, a cast bronze model from the LEXEME Series, will be exhibited in the grand opening and dedication period of the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication, May 15 – 20 in New York. 

I began working on the Lexeme Series shortly after the Twin Towers were destroyed. I have lived in Tribeca for over 40 years and was devastated by the events of 9/11/01. I don’t like to dwell on the subject of death; I find it too depressing, and prefer to focus on the positive. As a way to process what happened, I went to work in my studio. I started arranging shapes and forms, building compositions from my emotions and thoughts. What emerged from this process was an image of two geometric shapes (the Twin Towers), enveloped in organic, energetic forms — forms that suggested renewal and continuation rather than finality. For the next eight years, I continued working on this idea, expanding upon it, and letting it evolve naturally. As the series progressed, the two tower-like shapes became more abstract, moving away from one another and branching out into new, independent forms. Connected, organic shapes found in earlier pieces became separate facets, constituting their own unique sculptures. The later Lexeme works were abstract and almost unrecognizable from the earlier pieces, and gave way to my current body of work, the DNA Series, which includes large oil paintings. While these abstract paintings may appear unrelated to the Lexeme Series they have, in fact, evolved from it. This evolution represents the human spirit’s power of renewal. From a single subject, endless creative possibilities emerged.

Looking back at the past ten years, and to the direction my work as taken since I first started with the subject of 9/11, I clearly see how the Lexeme Series highlights the strength of the human spirit. The series tells the story of humanity’s relationship to the towers: humans brought them into being, and humans will continue to create, even after their destruction. Exhibiting my sculpture, .… provides a way for me to generate positive energy to the area, and to help renew our community.

We hope you will visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum and arrange a visit to Bill’s Tribeca studio, nearby.