|Artist||Bavinger, Eugene (American, 1919-1997)|
|Technique||Acrylic on canvas|
|Credit line||Gift of Dr. Harold F. Daum|
Bavinger is not only known for his painting but also for his unique house designed by one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century, Bruce Goff. Bavinger and his wife, Nancy and some of his students from the University of Oklahoma built the house in the early 1950s. Architects the world over know this house as the Bavinger House. The ambiance of the house reflects the influences of Abstract Expressionism. It became a watering hole for artists to gather and discuss art not unlike the well-known Cedar Tavern in New York City where the legendary New York School artists gathered.
His studies in art were interrupted by military duty in 1942. He was a pilot instructor in the Air Force and this experience directly affected not only his outlook on the world but his art, too. He returned to Oklahoma in 1947 and began his teaching career in the art department at the University of Oklahoma where he had once been a student. He began teaching one year after graduation and continued until his retirement from teaching in 1980.
In this monumental abstract work by Bavinger, one can observe the influences his military days as a pilot had on his work. The terrain one sees while flying can be seen in this work. The artist stated that his “ideas are not without reference to nature. However, the interpretation of reality is concerned with force, movement, vibration; and the constantly changing light, color and space.” He felt that this put his work in the category of abstraction.