William Bailey show opens at Orange St. Giampietro Gallery May 30
Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
William Bailey: Paintings and Drawings
May 30—July 12, 2014.
Reception: Fri., May 30, 6—8 p.m.
Press release from Giampietro Gallery
Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by William Bailey. This is his first showing at the gallery. The exhibition includes still life paintings and figure drawings that reflect nearly sixty years of exploration by the artist. Bailey studied under Joseph Albers at the Yale School of Art following his service in the Korean War. He began his studies at the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts and graduated from the Yale School of Art. Bailey has taught widely including at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. He held a long tenure at the Yale School of Art from which he retired in 1995 as the Kingman Brewster Professor Emeritus of Art.
Bailey's still life paintings present seemingly everyday objects, including bowls, pitchers, and cups, in groupings that conjure the familiar world while offering a metaphysical timelessness. Although they focus on a realm that is idealized, the works explore a mnemonic or remembered space where drawing, proportion, measure, and color find voice in Bailey’s expansive ability to capture light...light that illuminates the recognizable world while seeming to belong to an undefined, distant place. In contrast to a Realism of everyday life, Bailey offers us an integrated world of autonomous interiority, stating, "I am trying to paint a world that is not around us."
|William Bailey: "Soldier"|
Like the poet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who viewed art-making as a necessary effort toward perfection in an imperfect world, Bailey's images reflect the history of imaging and clarifications of his craft. His work links us to the past of Piero, Corot, or Hopper yet guides us to a perpetual here and now through his use of color and light. In this way he challenges our notions of both time and space.
The still life paintings suggest an environment grounded in Bailey's imagined world of things. With sustained viewing these images suggest landscape, architecture and groups of figures that seem, subtly, to generate an atmosphere of color giving them both space and breadth. These suggestions allow us to come to terms with the impermanence that defines our need for remembrance.
The works of William Bailey reveal themselves through a complex shifting of time and perception. Bailey's particular focus on drawing allows an unfolding of varied duration within the continuity of space. Attention in the imaginative act is shaped by the appearance and reappearance of forms. The paintings also derive information from his ongoing practice of observing the figure. Just as the pictures seem to sustain the tension of approaching absence, likewise, through the attention to delicate shifts of shadow and light, they seem to breathe with the presence of objects, figures and places.
K. L. Sinanoglu, New Haven, April, 2014