Thursday, April 4, 2013
"Cyclops" by William Baziotes is a piece inspired by Baziotes' trip to the zoo. He said he fed the rhinoceros, his favorite animal, and was intrigued by both the animal's playful and gentle nature and its cold, deadly eyes. The the reference to the vile cyclops of mythology and the rhino's relation to prehistoric animals bode of evil.The mythological reference of the painting resembles the old academic paintings.
Baziotes did not begin a painting with the end look in mind, but he believed that the process as well as the final outcome was the work of art. He allowed the painting to develop its own appearance as he worked on it though a process called automatism, or automatic drawing. Once he had finished a work, he named the piece based on the final result. "Cyclops" The painting came from his subconscious. This work is characterized by biomorphism, or a resemblance to a living organism, usually an amoeba or protozoan.
It is one of the first Abstract Impressionist paintings to receive wide-spread recognition when the Art Institute gave Baziotes the Walter M. Campana Memorial Purchase Prize.