November, 30, 2020
"When Hayley Barker speaks of the painters who influence her own work, she names Hans Grundig, Jean-Édouard Vuillard, Charles Burchfield, Paul Gaugin. Men, all of them, because in art history as written until recently, almost every famous painter until the end of the 20th century is male.
"In her own work, Barker emulates the profusion and surplus of these male painters who chose nature as their primary subject. Barker has a way, like they did, of filling up a canvas with so much beauty that it makes your chest hurt from the fullness of it. (Beauty can stuff you.) But Barker aims to be different as well. “I want to make the painting I haven’t seen,” she says.
"Traditional Western landscapes, Barker says, are linked to colonialism, the bourgeois, a luxury sensibility that sees nature as something that can, and should be, conquered. Much like an Instagram selfie, traditional landscape painting sees nature as a backdrop for human greatness...."