Over the past 30 years of painting Barnes had become known for working on very large canvases, his 1992 "Sources of Power" exhibition and those to ensue would follow this preference. The "Sources of Power" exhibition would be Barnes' final with Struve Gallery, which went out of business.
Fortunately for Barnes with such a predominant reputation and whose exhibitions nearly always sold out, it was no trouble for him to associate himself with another Gallery in Chicago. Barnes continued thereafter exhibiting at the Sonya Zaks Gallery through the 90's with a succession of major exhibits, "Blood and Perfume" 1996, and a pastel exhibition titled "Robert Barnes, New Works", 1998. Also during this period Barnes received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1993, and in 1995 he received the very high honor of being named Ruth Halls Professor of Fine Art, an Endowed Chair.
At the close of the decade Barnes had been with Indiana University for 35 years and his retirement was due, so in the spring of 1999 he taught his last semester.
2000 - Present
Barnes produced another sold out exhibition titled the "The Ogham" that premiered during April 2000 at Zaks Gallery and he currently has a new exhibition there of oils and caseins until mid April 2002.
Barnes and his wife Nancy Morgan, now married for 29 years, have only recently relocated from southern Indiana to the coast of Maine, where they have purchased a hundred and eighty year old sea captain's house.
Recently forming an alliance with Peter Findlay Gallery in New York City, Barnes' future plans are to paint and exhibit, as always, between NYC and Chicago. While this is occurring from his new home in Maine he also seeks new adventures which are surely to be echoed, as all his life's experiences have been, in his work.