Description Thirty pound bronze maquette of the sculpture titled 9/11 by Bill Barrett from the Lexeme Series. The maquette depicts two tower forms with attached elements in shapes that resemble flames.
Historical Notes Sculptor Bill Barrett witnessed the events of 9/11 from his lower Manhattan home and studio. His later work, which he developed into a series titled Lexeme Series, began to resemble the Twin Towers. This maquette was an early study for a large-scale sculpture titled 9/11.
Curator's Comment Since the 1960s, Bill Barrett has created large abstract sculptures, mostly from metals, that have been installed in public venues around the world. A Tribeca-based artist and resident for more than 40 years, he felt personally impacted by the terrorist attacks that happened mere blocks from his home and studio, saying, “I lived in New York for so many years, it felt like a part of myself had been destroyed."
When Barrett resumed his artistic practice soon thereafter, he initially did not set out to create works in response to 9/11. Over time, however, he realized that the shapes he was forming were the Twin Towers. Eight years later, Barrett completed the Lexeme Series, comprised of 15 sculptures investigating these paired shapes, which also paid tribute to the human spirit and its restorative ability. The artist molded abstract forms because he felt such gestural shapes, free of prescribed meaning, encouraged a multiplicity of personal interpretations among viewers.
Barrett’s original bronze sculpture was installed in Finn Square in Tribeca for several months in 2011 with the intention of helping the downtown community continue its journey of healing 10 years after 9/11. His donation to the museum consists of a 2006 model of what later became his large-scale public installation. HIDE