Brian Barr is an artist and independent curator from Detroit, MI, currently based in Richmond, VA. His work explores the space between function, meaning and aesthetics. Barr presents large-scale imagery as found objects. Faced with images stripped of their original context, viewers have two options for engagement: they may attempt to understand the meaning of the images or, alternately, they may focus on the aesthetic qualities of the images. Either approach entails a loss of understanding. Viewers may also move between the two positions. Barr’s interest lies in this in-between space, where new fictions can emerge.
Barr received his MFA from American University, and his BFA from The College for Creative Studies. He has been awarded fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, and the Kala Art Institute, as well as a residency at the Luminary Center for the Arts. Barr regularly collaborates with artist Lauren Rice. They have presented collaborative solo exhibitions at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, Flashpoint Gallery in Washington, DC, Purdue University, Shockoe Art Space in Richmond, Current Space in Baltimore, the Neon Heater in Findlay, OH, and the Artist Alliance Inc.’s, Cuchifritos Gallery and Project Space in New York City. Barr has had solo exhibitions at Popps Packing in Detroit, Skylab in Columbus, OH, and the Arlington Art Center in Virginia.
His work was featured in New American Paintings no. 95. Barr was the founder of PASSENGER, an exhibition space in Detroit where he was Director and Curator from 2012-2014. He has curated exhibitions at PASSENGER, ORG Gallery in Detroit, Purdue University, The Museum of New Art Detroit, Delicious Spectacle Gallery and the Katzen Art Center Museum, both in Washington, DC. In addition to teaching at George Mason, Barr currently teaches for the Foundations and Sculpture departments at Virginia Commonwealth University.