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Will Barnet's work draws on the old and modern masters in painting. Based on an attentive and considered observation of reality, his paintings result from numerous preparatory drawings, which are transferred onto the canvas with particularly diligent consideration for the composition and the organization of the elements that occupy the space. Rather than creating it, his muted color palette molds with the arrangement of the form. In the 1930s he worked for the Work Projects Administration (WPA), a huge US-wide enterprise set up by Franklin Roosevelt's administration to help artists hit by the recession, which offered them thousands of commissions of all different kinds between 1935 and 1939. He started printing lithographs and making his own woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings on the subject of man's misery. A notable example is Desolation of 1935. In subsequent periods Barnet successively adopted elements of different styles: Post-Cubist, with Family and Pink Table (1948); abstract, with Big Duluth (1959-1960); and figurative and Symbolist with Mother and Child (1961), Atlantis (1975-1976) and Three Chairs (1991-1992).