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William Baziotes - American Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - William Baziotes (1912 - 1693)

American Abstract Expressionist painter, William Baziotes first worked for the Federal Art Project. Then during World War II, he became interested in Surrealism and the automatist approach to producing art. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that Baziotes developed his signature style of using organic shapes reminiscent of animal or plant forms.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Greek parents, Baziotes began his formal art training in 1933 at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He studied with Charles Curran, Ivan Olinsky, Gifford Beal, and Leon Kroll. He was employed by the Federal Art Project in the late 1930s. In the 1940s he became friends with many artists in the emerging Abstract Expressionist group.

He became a founding member of the school on Eighth Street in 1948. He also taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, People's Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and at the City University of New York,Hunter College in Manhattan during the last ten years of his life. Baziotes and his wife Ethel lived in the Morningside Heights area of northern Manhattan until his death from cancer in 1963.

Some of his famous works are Aquatic, Dusk, and The Room, all of which are in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Other famous works by Baziotes can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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