Sadie Barnette (b. 1984, Oakland, CA) investigates the unexpected locations of identity construction, family mysteries, subculture coding, celebration, and excess, while using California vernacular and everyday abstraction. Barnette creates photographs, highly detailed drawings, and large scale installations, engaging in minimalism, text, glitter as hypnotic, found objects, and the personal as political for poetry and abstraction in urban life. Stemming from her father’s history as a founder of the Compton California Chapter of The Black Panther Party, Barnette writes, “I am the Oakland 80’s baby of the radical and armed movement of love, the interracial, outer-spacial, and of disco idealism. I am the improbable celebration of my parents’ acts of resistance, gender defiant grace, fierce Midwestern kindness, dearly protected optimism and humor.”
Barnette has a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from University of San Diego. Her works are in the collections of the Perez Art Museum Miami and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is a 2016 Hermitage Artist in Residence, 2015 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and a Vermont Studio Center Resident. Barnette has participated in Young, Gifted and Black, curated by Hank Willis Thomas at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Everything, Everyday, the Artist in Residence exhibition at The Studio Museum in Harlem; Incognito 2015, Santa Monica Museum of Art; and Fore, at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and published in various catalogues at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Barnette lives and works in both California and New York.