Born in Pittsburgh, moved to New York in early 1930s, studying at the National Academy of Design in New York City and painting realistic landscapes and still lifes. Employed by the WPA Art Project in the late 1930s, began to execute works in a more stylized manner. Influenced by the arrival of the European Surrealists in New York during WWII and was included in First Papers of Surrealism. Worked closely with Matta, a proponent of automatic painting, who exerted a large influence on Baziotes and fellow artists including Kamrowski, Pollock, and Jimmy Ernst. Solo shows at Art of This Century Gallery in 1944 and in 1946 at the Samuel Kootz Gallery. In 1948, founded, along with Hare, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko, the Subjects of the Artist School. Work dealt with the shadowy, mysterious realm of mythic subject matter and the unconscious, later marked by a poetic feel, with abstracted figures against a timeless, mottled ground. In 1962, included in Sydney Janis' important exhibition Ten American Painters. Lived with his wife Ethel in in Manhattan, and died of lung cancer in 1963.