Wow, I made it to Day Twenty-Six! After yesterday’s artist everything seems just a little easier. I was excited about today’s artist because when I first researched his art I immediately started getting ideas of what I wanted to paint. It’s sometimes more difficult when I get a surrealist/abstract painter because I tend to over-analyze exactly what I want to paint. It’s hard to get the style of each painting “just” right. Today I present to you (who I believe is an under-rated artist…compared to his counterparts. I will also include a link to an article/blog that goes more into that subject.) William Baziotes!
William Baziotes (June 11, 1912 – June 6, 1963) was an American painter influenced by Surrealism and was a contributor to Abstract Expressionism.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Greek parents Angelos and
Stella, Baziotes began his formal art training in 1933 at the National Academy of Design in New York City where he graduated in 1936. He studied with Charles Curran, Ivan Olinsky, Gifford Beal, and Leon Kroll. Baziotes taught through the Federal Art Project in from 1936-1938 and worked on their WPA Easel Project from 1938-1940.
In the 1940s he became friends with many artists in the emerging Abstract Expressionist group. Although he shared the groups’ interest in primitive art and automatism, his work was more in line with European surrealism Later in his career he taught extensively. His first solo exhibition was at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in 1944. With David Hare, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko, Baziotes founded the Subjects of the Artist School in New York in 1948. He also taught at theBrooklyn Museum Art School, People’s Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and at the City University of New York, Hunter College and New York University in Manhattan during the last ten years of his life.
Baziotes and his wife Ethel, whom he married in 1941, lived in the Morningside Heights area of northern Manhattan until his death from lung cancer in June 1963, aged 50. During his lifetime, he and his wife shared a love of ancient Greek art and sculpture as well as the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Many of his paintings are inspired by the latter’s poetry as well as by ancient art.
Some of his famous works are Aquatic, Dusk, and The Room, all of which are in the
Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Biography from wikipedia.
Here is an excerpt from a wonderful blog entry about Baziotes called Art Before Sleep that I stumbled across.
I never tire of looking at the paintings of William Baziotes. His works are so simple and perhaps because of that are always so fresh, no matter how many times I’ve seen them. It’s interesting to see the evolution of his work—a continual distillation to basic forms.
“Each painting has its own way of evolving…when the painting is finished, the subject reveals itself,” Wm. Baziotes
I also learned about surrealist automatism when I researched Baziotes…and realized that I used that technique while doing my own art! Here’s the wikipedia description of that art form.
Automatism has taken on many forms: the automatic writing and drawing initially (and still to this day) practiced by surrealists can be compared to similar, or perhaps parallel phenomena, such as the non-idiomatic improvisation.
Surrealist automatism is different from mediumistic automatism, from which the term
was inspired. Ghosts, spirits or the like are not purported to be the source of surrealist automatic messages.
I tried to keep this in mind while creating my tribute to Baziotes…I kept wanting to pull out the pencil and sketch something before painting, but I mentally slapped my hand and started painting on a completely blank canvas. I hope you enjoy my piece dedicated to this wonderful artist!
And now I present to you my Baziotes tribute and then it’s onto Day 27! Wow, getting closer to the end of the month. Maybe I’ll do some sort of round-up at the end of each month. For now my art space is running out of wall space and I’m loving it. Thanks for reading and come back soon…like tomorrow! xoxo, Linda