Robert Barry was born in New York in 1936. He lives and works in New York.
Robert Barry is now considered one of the pioneers and most significant artists of Conceptual Art. Around the mid '60s, Barry starts investigating the space around the canvas as well as the space within its edges. Little by little, the placement of the work in the exhibition context becomes a primary component of the artistic operation too.
The artist questions the limits and the true nature of perception, the possibilities of our senses in relation with often unknown and intangible elements. For Barry, it has always been the very act of perceiving, rather than the object of perception, to be interesting and meaningful. After years of experimentation where he used and experimented with the most varied media (ultrasonic sounds, inert gases and magnetism) to conduct his artistic research, in the early '70s Barry decides to focus on the word, as a unique vehicle for meaning and his tool of choice for communication.
The word can be painted on canvas, directly on a wall, printed on paper, projected on slides or carved. The specialization of the word, the relationship between this and the emptiness around it are essential for the artist. Faced with a great variety of meanings and signifiers, the fundamental constant of all of Barry’s research remains the fact that between his mind and the public's gaze, there is a transferral of ideas and concepts, not pre-established and intentional messages: a point of arrival and departure that becomes the real creative engine of his work. To Robert Barry “art is a language and it has its roots in language.”