Biography of William Baziotes (1912-1963)

American painter, associated with the origins of abstract expressionism, born in Pittsburgh on June 11, 1912 and died on June 6, 1963.

Spend his youth in Reading, Pennsylvania, and between 1931 and 1933, works in a glass factory. In this period he/she attended drawing classes and meet the poet Byron Vazakas, which enters into a lasting friendship, and puts you in contact with the works of Baudelaire and the symbolists. Visit the exhibition of Matisse at the Museum of modern art in New York, city in which is installed in 1933 to study painting in 1931. Until 1936 it attends the National Academy of Design. In 1936 he/she exhibited for the first time in a collective in New York City Art Gallery; It works on behalf of the WPA Federal Art Project, teaching at the Queens Museum of art. To the forty year it comes in contact with the Group of surrealists who emigrated to New York and meets Matta. He/She begins to experience the surrealist automatism; It extracts objects of their environment making them evoke remote feelings that lead to unconscious; This process generates in a mental condition of acute sensitivity dealing with display in his paintings; It is considered the Visual manifestations of such mental state as parallel to the results obtained in the literary field by the Symbolist poets and by Proust, whose work admires. The main feature of his works, after the encounter with the surrealists, is the use of forms biomorphic freely fluctuating on a permanent background of bright color. His earlier works are in a postcubistas way.

In 1941 Matta introduces you to Motherwell with which begins a close friendship. In 1942 he/she exhibited, along with Motherwell and others, in the exhibition first papers of surrealism, the Whitelaw Reid Mansion in New York. In 1943 participates in two collective organized in the Peggy Guggenheim Art of this Century Gallery, where his first solo takes place in 1944. In 1948, Baziotes, Motherwell, Rothko and Still founded the school called the artist issues; in the following years is dedicated to teaching (New York University, school of art from the Brooklyn Museum, among others). He/She died in New York on June 6, 1963. The Solomon R. Guggenheim dedicated a commemorative exhibition in 1965.


American Art in the 20th Century. New York: Prestel, 1993.

FLINT Lucy, the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim. New York, 1983.