William Baziotes

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William Baziotes (1912–1963) was an American painter influenced by Surrealism and was a contributor to Abstract Expressionism. He participated in discussions and exhibitions of the New York School. In the early 1940's he was a close friend of Jackson Pollock; they painted some paintings together.

Sourced[edit]

  • I consider my painting finished when my eyes goes to a particular spot on the canvas. But if I put the picture away about thirty feet on the wall and the movements keep returning to me and the eye seems to be responding to something living, then it is finished.
    • Artists’ Session at Studio 35, 1950, as quoted in Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 213


  • We are getting mixed up with the French tradition. In talking about the necessity to ‘finish’ a thing, we then said American painters ‘finish’ a thing that looks ‘unfinished’, and the French, they ‘they ‘finish’ it. I have seen Matisses that were more ‘unfinished’ and yet more ‘finished’ than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more’’unfinished’ than ‘’finished’.
    • Artists’ Session at Studio 35, 1950, as quoted in Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 216


  • Whereas certain people start with a recollection or an experience and paint that experience, to some of us the act of doing is the experience; so that we are not quite clear why we are engaged on a particular work. And because we are more interested in plastic matters than we are in matters of words, once can begin a painting and carry it through and stop it and do nothing about the title at all. All pictures are full of association.
    • Artists’ Session at Studio 35, 1950, as quoted in Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 217


  • I think the reason we (he himself and Lippold, fh) begin in a different way, is that this particular time has gotten to a point where the artist feels like a gambler. He does something on the canvas and takes a chance in the hope that something important will be revealed.
    • Artists’ Session at Studio 35, 1950, as quoted Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 219


  • The eye seems to be responding to something living.
    • '‘Modern Artists in America, R. Motherwell, A. Reinhardt and B. Karpel, eds., First series, New York 1952, p. 100


  • As for the subject matter in my painting.. ..it is very often an incidental thing in the background, elusive and unclear, that really stirred me.
    • Fifteen Americans, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, 1952 p. 12


  • I think when a man first discovers that two and two is four, there is 'beauty' in that; and we can see why. But if people stand and look at the moon and one says 'I think it’s just beautiful tonight' and the other says 'The moon makes me feel awful' we are both 'clear'. A geometric shape – we know why we like it; and an unreasonable shape; it has a certain mystery that we recognise as real; but it is difficult to put these things in an objective way. (remark in the Artists' Session at Studio 35, 1950, fh)
    • Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 221


  • One hundred artists introduce us to one hundred worlds.
    • Artists Club, January 8, 1952, as quoted in Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, W.C, Seitz, Cambridge Massachusetts 1983, p. 136


  • I can not evolve any concrete theory about painting.
    • Willem de Kooning, Moma Bulletin pp. 6,7, as quoted in Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, W.C, Seitz, Cambridge Massachusetts 1983, p. 135


  • One can begin a picture and carry it throughand stop it and do nothing about the title at all.
    • as quoted in Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, W.C, Seitz, Cambridge Massachusetts 1983, p. 147


External links[edit]

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