Medici Gallery
Contemporary Art

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Jo Barrett

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Jo Barrett’s paintings focus on still life, capturing the form, light and atmosphere created by carefully selected objects and the space they inhabit. Barrett’s paintings have a contemporary, formal approach to the subject while evoking the palette and atmosphere of the 18th century Dutch still life tradition. She has distilled this influence into minimal and structured arrangements, where folds in the tablecloth and diffused forms in the background play an essential role in the final works. This balance of traditional and new, combined with her meticulous observation of detail, enables her work to stand out from the photo-realist genre. Lighting is key in Barrett’s work. The subtle, shifting tones and colours within interlocking shadows, provide as much substance and compositional structure as the objects themselves. It is from these perfectly balanced compositions that we can then find the finely studied reflections and textured surfaces that bring the objects to life. Barrett’s contemporary approach to her work, grounded in traditional influences, creates timeless paintings that are simultaneously contemplative and powerful.