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.
“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
Primeval wall (“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”), from the series Great Ideas of Western Man.
- 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 Description
- oil on canvas
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI