In her fifth exhibition with Gallery 60SIX, Leigh Barbier presents her series “Misfit Army.” In this body of work, Barbier’s narrative landscapes continue in their excavation of the female form and psyche. Her work, in large scale drawings and small ceramic sculpture, explores a theme of female communities providing an alternate world which gives physical form to the artist’s emotional experience, from a perspective that combines humor with a hyper-focused female intuition.
One can see echoes of our former Trump-era political climate as Barbier’s army of ‘misfit’ women seek to organize themselves. There is a sense of compassion and support among the women in the face of failures, both their own, and those of society. Some of the large scale drawings borrow the art historical theme of “The Bathers” executed in a style contrasting looseness and tight detail. She depicts a sense of power and wisdom in the women figures, both young and old. The older women exhibit a sense of freedom in the integration of self that comes with age while they escape pressures of ‘ideal’ notions of femininity.
With their eyes wide open in fragility and strength, there is the sense that Barbier’s misfit army will ultimately ‘win’ the day.
Additionally, in this show the artist presents new work reflecting her response to the pandemic, including her iconic “Pandemic Worry Dolls” and a sampling from her quarantine paintings.