Cyclops

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1947

Artist:

William Baziotes
American, 1912–1963

About this artwork

Profoundly affected by his encounters with Surrealists who were living in New York City in the 1940s, such as Matta, William Baziotes explored his imagination and incorporated automatism, or automatic drawing, and biomorphic imagery into his art practice. Part of a small group of single-image paintings, this work depicts a combination of a rhinoceros and the mythical one-eyed Cyclops. Inspired by an encounter that the artist had with his favorite animal at the zoo, the artist explained: “I had some peanuts, and as I gave them to the rhino, he sucked my hand and held it. My wife got scared but I was terribly interested. He was playful and cute and toylike, but at the same time he chilled me. He seemed prehistoric and his eyes were cold and deadly.” This work was denounced as “unintelligible” by mainstream critics, but it was awarded a prize in a juried exhibition of abstract and Surrealist American art held at the Art Institute in 1947–48.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

William Baziotes

Title

Cyclops

Origin

United States

Date

1947

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

121.9 x 101.6 cm (48 x 40 in.)

Credit Line

Walter M. Campana Memorial Prize Fund

Reference Number

1947.468

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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