The longer the viewer takes to concentrate and “study” any form of fine art the greater the possibly they have to enjoy it, or decide why they don’t. The average viewing time is fifteen seconds. I am challenging that notion to allow submission to the emotional experience.
My work is an accomplished effort of juggling composition and improvisation. The construction of these two elements take shape in a semi-trance. After this absorption, three-quarters of the way through this process, the critical phase occurs when I must make the whole piece come together. Of course it’s not a “process” in the corporate sense of the word – it is everything that has stayed with me from being a student with Elaine de Kooning to thirty years of working and exhibiting in NYC.
I must use whatever facility comes to play during this circumspect analyses in an attempt to finish with a positive ending. This final personal satisfaction is achieved with a certain amount of luck along with my years of experience towards completion.
My approach to the current work relies on critical analysis and a reservoir of acquired techniques and subject matter. The new element to my work shown here is collage. A palette of appropriated images from vintage periodicals and posters. I use the cut line of the X-acto blade much like a pencil or paintbrush. Choosing the collage pieces, placing them, shaping; gluing and burnishing. This process is very intuitive while simultaneously reflecting on the compositional direction allowing for changes. I paint over the cut pieces with a variety of techniques. The stipple dry brush application of paint is based on a technique I have used previously in my work to suggest the painterly approach.
The titles are conceptually cryptic leaving the final response and analysis up to the viewer. “Competition for the largest” and “Butterfly” are examples of my earlier stylistic approach. They are graphic, with high contrast. “Christian Harley Riders in favor of Gay and Lesbian Marriage” might be transitional – busy but composed.
What I am striving for in “Surf City is the Place to be” is a combination of seamless blending of the figurative and abstract. “Rolanda and the Kitchen Sink in Hawaii” is dedicated to a good friend who immigrated to Hawaii. It expresses a more painterly tone with a sense of color, bright light and the thrill of being in a new place. “Butterfly” is an expression of life on over load with a geometric abstraction, and kinetic movement. Delicate creatures that can travel hundreds of miles every year to be where they need to be, and return every year to another place called home.
Rande Barke remembers the sweet acrid smell of beer “factories” when riding in his father's truck toward downtown Milwaukee in the 1960’s. A prosaic industry set in a humble and sturdy landscape next to lake Michigan.
Barke, who spent the last 20 years in New York City, exhibiting his art, is now back in Milwaukee. The culture and urbanity of “The City” provided a context that fostered five single person shows and several reviews in Art Forum and Art in America, as well as awards including The National Endowment for the Arts Scholarship and the New York Foundations for the Arts Fellowship in drawing.
Before working full time as an artist in New York, Rande taught art for 6 years. First at the University of Southern Mississippi, then as an assistant professor in the Art department of Syracuse University. His formal education was at the University of Georgia with an MFA in drawing and painting. There, he worked for two years with Elaine de Kooning who enabled him to meet such masters of 1950’s American abstraction as Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston. Willem de Kooning reminded Rande of his German speaking grandfather, Sam Barke, who left Europe to start a cedar post business in Gillett, Wisconsin in the 1930’s.
Rande left New York City in 2002, changed forever, after watching the Trade Center towers burn from his Greenpoint Brooklyn studio. He and wife moved to Westchester County setting up a studio in downtown Yonkers, 2 blocks from the Hudson River and the Palisades. The river and surrounding imagery was reflected in his abstract paintings and semi representational drawings.
The great recession would take Rande and his wife to the midwest. Rande now lives and works in Milwaukee - the city he left at age 16.
1978 University of Georgia, Master of Fine Art
2016 Wantoot Gallery, Mineral Point, WI
2013 Parsifal Mercedes Boutique, Milwaukee, WI
2011 Zuppas - A Fine Art Restaurant, Yonkers, NY
2010 Comfort, Hastings on Hudson, Rande Barke Drawings
2006-2009, Yonkers, NY
2008 Schiavone Edward Fine Art, Baltimore, MD
2003 Schiavone Edward Fine Art, Baltimore, MD
1997 Anderson & Anderson Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1995 E M Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
1992 E M Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
1991 Anderson & Anderson Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1990 E M Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
1989 E M Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
1987 Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York, NY
1986 Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York, NY
1983 Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
1981 Gallery Simone Stern, New Orleans, LA
1979 Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, SC
1979 Max Hutchinson Gallery, Houston, TX
1979 Beggin Hall Gallery, Auburn University, AL
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016 Gallery 218, "Spring Gallery Night & Day" Milwaukee, WI
2014 Gallery 218, "Spring Gallery Night," Milwaukee, WI
2013 Anderson Arts Center, "Winter Juried Exhibition,"
2012 Gingrass Gallery, "Gallery Artists," Milwaukee, WI
2005 Yonkers on Hudson Gallery, Yonkers, NY
2002 Scratch ARENA, New York, NY
2002 A Special Place, ARENA, Brooklyn, NY
2001 Stockholm Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden
2000 Months and Moons, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
2000 Cotter Lupi / Rande Barke, ARENA @ Feed, Brooklyn, NY
1999 Size Matters, Gale Gates, Brooklyn, NY
1997 New York Drawers, Pierogi 2000: touring the Gasworks,
London, and Cornerhouse, Manchester U.K.
1997 Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of
North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
1997- 98 Current/Undercurrent, Brooklyn Museum of Art,
1996 New York Biennial, New York State Museum, NY
1994 Current Abstraction, Tyler Gallery, Tyler School of Art,
Philadelphia, PA (3 person show)
1994 Interior Essence, Akus Gallery, Eastern Conn.
State University, Willimantic, CT
1993 Gallery Artists, EM Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
(also ’92, ‘91)
1989 Abstract Landscape, Art in General, New York, NY
1986 Art Basel, Switzerland
1985 Paintings & Sculpture, Art Awards Candidates,
American Academy & Institute for Arts & Letters, NY
1985 Exit Art Gallery, New York, NY
1984 PPOW Gallery, New York, NY
1984 On View, The New Museum of Contemporary Art,
New York, NY
1982 The Collection of Elaine de Kooning,
Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
1980 Annual Juried Exhibition, Nelson-Atkins Museum,
Kansas City, MO
1980 Rande Barke, Cynthia Becker, Goldwin Smith Gallery,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
1979 Gramercy International Art Fair, New York, NY
2005 06 Article in Westchester Magazine
2004 04 Baltimore City Paper, “Effortless” J Bowers
1994 11 The Philadelphia Enquirer, “Current Abstraction”
Edward J Sozanski
1994 04 Figaro (Japan), “Young Artists in New York”
1989 05 Art Forum, review by Jude Schwedenwien
1997 04 Art in America, review by Stephen Westfall
1986 11 Art Forum, review by Ronnie Cohe
2001 New York Foundation for the Arts
1983 National Endowment for the Arts Scholarship
1978 Ford Foundation Grant
Dow Lohnes & Albertson, Washington DC
Adam Baumgold, New York NY
Fidelity Investments, Boston MA
Richard Elstract, New York NY
Lisa Dennison, New York NY
Pat Baron-Ravitch, New York NY
Sumitomo Bank, New York NY
Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas MO
Chemical Bank, New York NY
Primary Care Assoc., New York NY
Deutsche Bank, New York NY
Salmon Peak Recording Studios, SanAntonio TX
“Elaine de Kooning’s Inadvertent Collection”, The Estate of Elaine de Kooning, NY, NY
gouache / collage on paper Individual cut pieces of found vintage periodicals; posters with X-ACTO knife;...