b. 1924 in Michigan
d. 2015 in Chicago
Morris Barazani, a member of Chicago’s modernist community since the late 1940s, was originally drawn from Michigan to Chicago by the Constructivist teachings of the Institute of Design (New Bauhaus). In 1948, Barazani attended Cranbrook Academy, outside Detroit. He returned to Chicago where he began to experiment with Abstract Expressionism, which generally went against the grain in a city that honored surrealism and figuration.
Equally adept at hard-edged geometry and more organic modes of brushwork, Barazani established himself as one of the most forceful abstract painters in the Midwest, synthesizing various influences into an unmistakable personal style. Over the last three decades, Barazani has returned to the landscape as a resource, incorporating the rolling hills of Southwest Michigan into his canvases.
He founded the art department at DePaul University, and in 1969 was invited to serve as director of the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois at Chicago, Circle Campus.
A Visit From Afar, 1980
Oil on canvas
60″ x 52″
Gift of the artist, 2013