Ilya Bolotowsky was born in Petrograd, Russia in 1907. He
died in the USA in 1981. Bolotowsky emigrated to the United States in
1923 and became an American citizen in 1929. He studied at National Academy
for Design in New York 1924-30, and won drawing prizes, painting prizes,
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Scholarship, and the Yaddo Foundation
Fellowship. Bolotowsky was influenced by Mondrians in the Gallatin Collection,
and Miros at Pierre Matisse Gallery, which led to his first abstract work
in 1933. Bolotowsky was a member of The Ten with Rothko, Gottlieb, and
others in the mid-1930's. He was an active member of the WPA Federal Arts
Project and was co-founder and charter member of the American Abstract
Bolotowsky taught at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, University
of Wisconsin, University of New Mexico, and Columbia University. He won
the Abstract Painting Prize from the National Institute of Arts and Letters,
and grants from the Museum of Non-objective Painting in New York. He is
well known for his public murals including the ones at: the Hall of Medical
Science at the 1936 World's Fair; Chronic Diseases Hospital in New York;
two for the Phillips Steel Company in Pittsburgh; Cinema I and the Passenger
Ship Terminal in New York. Bolotowsky's work is collected by major world
corporations including: New York's Chase Manhattan Bank and Ciba-Geigy.
The list of galleries and museums which have exhibited his work is extensive.
Bolotowsky is collected in major museums including: New York's Whitney
Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum,
New York; Washington's Joseph H. Hirshorn Collection, and the National
Collection of Fine Arts at the Smithsonian Institution.
The two serigraphs presented below are classic examples of Bolotowsky's abstract art. The works are handsome and pure. Horizontal-vertical format and the use of primary colors plus black, white and grey with the addition of diagonal lines or other hues for dramatic effect, which characterize his work, are represented in these pieces. The works completely abstract, and consisting of square and rectangular forms to elaborate tensions are balanced by a limited color palette and Bolotowsky'a unique concept of composition. Of the essence of his pure abstraction Bolotowsky said, "In my art I avoid all associations. I try for perfect harmony, using neutral elements. I want things absolutely pure and simple...".
See Agam, Israel. Abstract Non Objective Art.
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