The gallery at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, will exhibit works on paper by renowned American artist William Bailey from November 8 through January 28, 2011. This exhibition of temperas, drawings and prints is on public view Mondays and Wednesdays, 3–5 p.m., or by appointment at (203) 432-0670.
Bailey is an eminent American figurative painter whose signature still-lifes inhabit and project a timeless sense of order and calm. Often characterized as one of the country’s leading realists, Bailey nonetheless eschews narrative, nostalgia, and even materiality in his work, which instead conveys distance and detachment. In poet Mark Strand’s words, Bailey’s artworks represent “realizations of an idea.” Indeed, his arrangements of pots, pitchers, bowls, and eggcups, as well as his depictions of female figures, are painted entirely from memory or imagination. The subjects may well exist—but the viewer is compelled to reflect further on their dreamlike quality, their intentional abstraction.
A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Bailey studied with Josef Albers and earned his BFA and MFA at Yale. He is currently professor of art emeritus at Yale as well as a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a board member of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and a trustee for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. His works appear in important collections nationwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.