Thursday, July 21, 2011

......Whose Name Was Writ On Water

These are paintings and a pencil drawing Bill was working on during the Second World War and just after. I believe they convey the true spirit of the time. Bill's mother was living in an occupied country, and he sat in New York listening to all the news of destruction on the radio. The figures are isolated, even when there are two of them. They are surrounded by a spirit of desolation. Late in life, Bill would paint a picture quoting the inscription on Keats's grave, but water imagery appeared early in his work. One of the two abstractions which end this post is called The Wave, the other is Untitled. Which one is which, the observer may be hard pressed to guess. The painting at the top of this short tribute is called Self Portrait In The Wilderness, and it's a postwar piece, dated 1947.

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