Scepter

  • William Baziotes, Scepter, 1960-1961, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1968.52.15

Luce Center Label

The hazy, dappled background of Scepter evokes a primordial world where elemental forms drift in and out of focus. William Baziotes painted intuitively, in an effort to capture what he called a “phantom that must be . . . made real” (Baziotes, “I Cannot Evolve Any Concrete Theory,” Possibilities I, 1947-48). He was not interested in literal meanings, and many of his titles come from images or objects that he saw in the paintings once they were completed. Here, the white shape suggests many things---a wisp of smoke, a scepter of state, or an elaborate piece of calligraphy.

Luce Object Quote

“It is the mysterious that I love in painting. It is the stillness and the silence. I want my pictures to take effect very slowly, to obsess and to haunt.” Baziotes, “Notes on Painting,” It Is, 1959

Title
Scepter
Artist
Date
1960-1961
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
66 x 78 1/8 in. (167.7 x 198.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1968.52.15
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI