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

  • William Baziotes, Primeval wall ("A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."), from the series Great Ideas of Western Man., 1959, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America, 1984.124.30

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.

Luce Object 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

Title
Primeval wall ("A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."), from the series Great Ideas of Western Man.
Artist
Date
1959
On View
Dimensions
24 1/4 x 30 3/8 in. (61.6 x 77.1 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Container Corporation of America

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1984.124.30
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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