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Aquatic

William Baziotes

Aquatic

William Baziotes
  • Date: 1961
  • Style: Abstract Expressionism
  • Genre: abstract
  • Media: oil
  • Dimensions: 167.6 x 198.4 cm

Baziotes shared his keen interest in nature with other artists of the New York School, who were motivated simultaneously by their search for primordial truths and their fascination with scientific inquiry. What bridged these two utopian investigations was the microscope; the invisible world of protean forms it revealed promised to disclose the origins of life. This preoccupation with identifying metaphysical features of the organic realm may illuminate Baziotes's predilection for marine imagery, as demonstrated in Aquatic (1961), a painting of serpentine forms swimming through a calm, watery world. The symbolic possibilities of the ocean are vast and Baziotes drew on many of its meanings. Aquatic has been interpreted as an expression of the artist's romantic vision of the sea as a domain of symbiotic relationships. The artist was captivated by the mating practice of eels, which swim through the ocean, rarely touching but always together. The delicately intertwined lines in the picture have been thought to represent these faithful eels on their course through the watery depths. (Nancy Spector)

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