Rick Bartow: Work

Opening Reception: First Thursday, March 3rd 6-8pm


“Work. That’s the only thing. That’s the only way. Work. Work” Bartow explains. “Do what you can, as long as you can, because I don’t see anything else.”

-“Teeth & Bones” Eugene Weekly, April 2015

In March we will show select works by venerated printmaker, painter and sculptor Rick Bartow (Wiyot), from 2015 and previous years. Though the work will be on multiple topics, one primary theme will be the human face: how we mask, hide, transform and reveal. Identity is constantly on the shift in Bartow’s works, as animals and humans meld into a liminal, uncertain now, heedless of what they were before or might be in a moment. Bartow transfers the moment of creation into each work, with an improvist’s energy and visionary skill. The artist often creates multiple works on the same panel or paper, working one image to completion before he paints or draws directly over it and obliterating it completely.


Exhibition Dates:

March 3, 2016 - April 3, 2016

Involved Artists:

Rick Bartow

Featured Works

Passion, fury, grief, and humor all translate from Bartow’s fingers through pastel, graphite and paint, and sometimes in the form of fingerprints, smudges, holes and symbols. Many of the works bear Bartow’s hallmark scrawl: words, letters, symbols and numbers. The frequency of these has increased after Bartow’s two recent strokes, the legacy of his struggle to regain memory and speech during each long recovery period. Though some of the meanings of these symbols remain opaque, their lingering presence reminds us that some communication happens on levels we cannot articulate.

As his enormous retrospective exhibit Things You Know But Cannot Explain continues to tour museums across the country, we focus the spotlight on smaller paintings on panel, and works on paper. Bartow’s works are held in over 50 museums across the world, and his monumental sculptures can be seen outside the entrance to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

Just after this exhibition closed, Rick Bartow passed on after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure. Our hearts are with his family and friends, and we count our blessings that we had the chance to know Rick, to represent his artwork, and to share his expression with our clients.