TINA BARNEY was born in 1945 in New York. For the past twenty-five years, she has been redefining the photographic portrait. In her early work, Barney focused her unique sensitivity on her own world of family and friends. Most of these early photographs were taken in Rhode Island, where she spends her summers. Later series include more formal settings throughout Europe and China. The subtle details of the work reveal the dramas within the narratives, and provide a haunting intensity. Her use of color is extravagant and enticing. Barney has said that her work is influenced by the intimate paintings of Vuillard and Bonnard, exposing the psychological drama of the family at the same time she is exploring the boundaries of her medium. From the groundbreaking exhibiton, Big Pictures, at The New York Museum of Modern Art in 1986, Tina Barney’s photographs have been included in a huge number of wonderful and exciting exhibitions, including the 1985 Whitney Biennial, a solo exhibition at MoMA in , a mid-career retrospective at London’s Barbican, and the wonderful Click Doubleclick at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Under the aegis of Checkerboard Foundation, Barney has also made two movies on artists, Horst, in 1988, and Jan Groover, in 1994. She has also made a short movie, The Fourth of July. She is the subject of the award-winning film Social Studies, by Jaci Judelson.
She has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award. Her publications include the books Family and Friends, published by the Smithsonian Institution; Theater of Manners, published in 1997 by Scalo, and The Europeans, published in 2005 by Steidl. Barney’s ongoing interest in theater, performance, and editorial work has led to her upcoming book, Players, also published by Steidl, this fall.