1952
William Baziotes
American, 1912-1963

Oil on canvas
40 1/4 x 60 inches

The idea of a phantom is a strong presence in the works of William Baziotes, including the Modern Art Museum's Sea Phantoms, 1952. This painting characterizes his mature style of 1944 to 1962, a time when he created enigmatic landscapes with careful attention to spatial arrangements. Like his early work, Sea Phantoms was inspired by the Surrealists' automatic drawings, but in a subtler way. Typical of Baziotes’s painting technique, the shapes in this painting appear to float in space, defying traditional compositions in which the main attraction is at the center of the...

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