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Primeval wall ("A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."), from the series Great Ideas of Western Man.

1959 William Baziotes Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1912 Died: New York, New York 1963 oil on canvas 24 1/4 x 30 3/8 in. (61.6 x 77.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Container Corporation of America 1984.124.30 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 42A


Luce Center Quote

“A few brushstrokes start me off on a labyrinthian journey [and] I am led to a more real reality.” Baziotes, William Baziotes: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1978

Luce Center Label

William Baziotes created Primeval Wall for the advertising campaign “Great Ideas of Western Man” for the Container Corporation of America. He didn’t want to clarify the meaning of the imagery, but preferred to evoke “strangeness and otherworldliness” with his choice of titles (“An Interview with William Baziotes,” Perspective No. 2, 1956-57). Here, the two pale forms resemble microscopic cells enlarged to vast proportions. The soft outlines and subdued, blurred colors create a dreamlike scene of twisting shapes, floating in some ethereal substance.

Keywords

Abstract

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About William Baziotes

Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1912 Died: New York, New York 1963

More works in the collection by
William Baziotes