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William Bailey: Looking through Time

With essays by Mark D. Mitchell and John Yau
And an interview with the artist by Clifford Ross

This publication considers the work of William Bailey (b. 1930), the Kingman Brewster Professor Emeritus of Art at Yale and one of the University’s most distinguished studio art faculty members since Josef Albers. Bailey’s career has been marked by a dedication to representational painting—placing him alongside artists like Janet Fish, Audrey Flack, Alex Katz, and Philip Pearlstein, who defied the dominant taste for abstraction in the mid-20th century. From his career-long iterations of tabletop still life that began in the 1960s to his ongoing commitment to the human figure, Bailey concentrates on the rudiments of representational art: form, color, line, medium, surface, and light. His artistic inspirations span centuries, from Raphael and Piero della Francesca to Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, and Piet Mondrian, with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne in between. Published in conjunction with Bailey’s inaugural museum retrospective, held at the Yale University Art Gallery, this book is the first on his work in nearly 30 years. Full-color plates capture the meditative quality of his paintings, drawings, and prints; special attention is given to his still-life paintings in oil, such as the Gallery’s Still Life—Table with Ochre Wall (1972). Two in-depth essays offer complementary perspectives on Bailey’s work, and an interview with the artist by his former student Clifford Ross captures his voice and approach to the world. While Bailey is revered by generations of Yale graduates, this volume introduces him to a deservedly wider audience and presents an illuminating study of his work for the future.

80 pages / 10 1/2 x 10 inches / 50 color illustrations / 2020
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-89467-983-4
    Price $45; Members $36