In the Studio

William Majors (American, 1930-1982)

Not Currently on View
Image Licensing

Here, Majors used calligraphic squiggles to suggest a group of art critics looking at a canvas—represented by the rectangle in the upper right corner—in a studio. By looking at Majors’s painting, the viewer recreates the scene. These squiggles are part of a personal language of visual symbols that Majors developed from calligraphy to use in his paintings and prints. The symbols appear to have a one-for-one relationship to specific things (critics and canvases) in this painting, but Majors also used this personal language to express larger spiritual ideas, such as in his Ecclesiastes series. Learning to draw at a hospital near Indianapolis, where he made anatomy and pathology drawings for the medical staff, probably influenced the symbols’ biomorphic nature.

Object Information

William Majors (American, 1930-1982)
creation date
oil on canvas
49-5/8 x 59-3/4 in. (canvas)
50-5/8 x 61 x 2-1/8 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Indianapolis Chapter
© William Majors
Contemporary Art

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