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University of Iowa News Release

April 9, 2004

Internationally Acclaimed Painter William Bailey Will Visit UI April 15

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Internationally acclaimed painter William Bailey will speak on his art at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15 in the Lasansky Room of the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Bailey's talk, which is presented by the UI School of Art and Art History, is free and open to the public. A reception for the artist will follow in the atrium of the museum.

Bailey is professor emeritus at Yale University, where he taught and inspired generations of painters. His work has been shown by, and is in the collection of, nearly every major museum in the United States and abroad. His influence on contemporary representational painting is significant.

Critic Robert Hughes writes about his work, "the calm and timelessly ordered still-lives of William Bailey were at least as full of pictorial intelligence and visual subtlety as anything in color-field painting . . . There was nothing nostalgic or narrative about Bailey's work. Its calm arrays of pots, jugs, eggs and bowls make up an ideal form-world, Platonic in its removal from 'the itch of desire'."

Although he is known for his still-life paintings, Bailey said recently: "I never saw myself as a realist. I came to figurative painting out of abstract painting. . . I wanted to place a figure in a context outside of time, that is, in a more abstract context.

"The other thing that I was aspiring toward was something that I'd found in Southeast Asia when I was there, and that was the idea of a slowed down, slowly unfolding image, where the gesture, the attitude, were clear, but had no particular narrative importance. I wanted to paint in a way that the painter, the 'I,' disappeared into the work, rather than having the work show my own skill or bravura or whatever. I felt strongly, and still do, that it should be the work that speaks, and not the painter."

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,