William Bailey was born in Iowa in 1930. He received his BFA and MFA at Yale University, where he studied with Joseph Albers. He taught at Indiana University, and then at Yale, where he served as Dean of the Yale School of Art and was the Kingman Brewster Professor of Art. He lives and works in Connecticut, and maintains a studio in Italy.
Bailey's exceptional draftsmanship is well demonstrated in his prints. Employing classic motifs-the still life or artist's model-Bailey creates an atmosphere that is subtle and spatially enigmatic. Working from memory, without the aid of photography, he produces prints of great sensitivity and control. Gradually built up through several states of short etches, his line work achieves a luminous quality not unlike silverpoint drawing. Bailey's vigilance in execution echoes the conceptual quality of the images. His prints of the still life or figure seem suspended in memory, timeless and metaphysical.