Biografie von Ilya BOLOTOWSKY (1907-1981)

Birth place: St. Petersburg, Russia

Addresses: NYC (immigrated 1923); Sag Harbor, NY (1970s)

Profession: Abstract painter, educator

Studied: College St Joseph, Constantinople, Turkey, 1923 (certificate); NAD, 1924-30; Yaddo (artists' retreat), Saratoga Springs, NY, 1933

Exhibited: NAD, 1929, 1930 (First Hallgarten prize for painting); CI, 1945; MoMA; PMA; WMAA, 1938, 1968 (The 1930's Painting & Sculpture in America); Corcoran Gal, 1963; SFMA; Riverside Mus.; New A. Circle, 1946 (solo); AIC, 1947; PAFA, 1962, 1964, 1966; Midwest Film Festival, Univ. Chicago, 1963 (first prize for film, "Metanoia"); "The Classic Spirit in XX Century Art," Janis Gallery, NYC, 1964; Plus by Minus, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 1967; "The Nonobjective World,1924-39," Gal. Jean Chauvelin, Paris and Annalee Jude Fine Art, London and Gal. Milano, Italy, 1971; NIAL, 1971(abstract painting award); Guggenheim Mus., 1974 (solo); also many other gallery and solo shows; Grace Borgenicht Gallery, NYC (solos); "NYC WPA Exhib.," Parsons School Design, 1977; M. Diamond FA, NYC, 1982

Member: Am. Abstract Artist (co-founder, charter member, pres.); Federation Modern Painters & Sculptors (co-founder, charter member, vice-pres.); Fine Arts Federation NY (board of directors); Nat. Soc. Mural Painters; Audubon Soc.; Woodstock Artists Assoc.

Work: PMA; PMG; MoMA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Mus., New York; WMAA; SFMA; Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, New York; National Mus. of Am. Art and Hirshhorn Collection, both Washington, DC; Walker AC; Woodstock Artists Assoc. Commissions: abstract mural (WPA), Williamsburg Housing Project NY, 1936-37; mural (WPA), Hall of Medical Science, NYWF, 1938-39; mural (WPA), Men's Day Room, Hospital for Chronic Diseases, Welfare Island, NY, 1941; mosaic (WPA), Theodore Roosevelt H.S., Bronx, NY, 1941; abstract mural, Cinema I Lobby, New York, 1963.

Comments: During the 1930s he was a biomorphic abstractionist, influenced by Miro and Arp. By the 1940s, his art had become more neoplastic, and beginning in 1947 he was creating the shaped canvases for which he is best known: diamond shaped ones at first, followed by ovals and odd rectangles. In 1961, he began applying his favored primary colors to column-like three-dimensional forms. Preferred media: oils, acrylics, wood, metal, plastics. Teaching: Black Mountain College, 1946-48; assoc. prof., Univ. Wyoming, 1948-57; prof., SUNY, New Paltz, 1957-65; prof., Southampton College, 1965; Univ. NM. Author: An Interview of Naum Gabo (Harvard Univ Press, 1955); Metanoia" (film, Grove Press, 1963); A Russian-English Dictionary of Painting (Telberg Book Co, 1965); "On Neoplasticism and My Own Work," Leonardo (June 7, 1969).

Sources: WW73; WW47; Lawrence Campbel, "Squaring the Circle and Vice-Versa," Art News (Feb., 1970); Knute Stiles, "Ilya Bolotowsky," Artforum (March, 1970); Robert M. Ellis, Ilya Bolotowsky-Paintings & Columns (Univ. New Mexico, 1970); Ilya Bolotowsky, exhib. cat. (Solomon Guggenheim Mus., 1974); Baigell, Dictionary.; New York City WPA Art, 12 (w/repros.). More recently, see American Abstract Art, 178. Addit. info. courtesy Woodstock Artists Assoc."

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