Ilya Bolotowsky

Russian-American, 1907–1981

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Ilya Bolotowsky

Russian-American, 1907–1981

727
Followers
Biography

A fervent proponent of the power of abstract art and a major figure in American abstraction, Ilya Bolotowsky created work that reflected his unceasing interest in Modernist geometry. Born in Russia, Bolotowsky arrived in New York in 1923 and quickly grew interested in biomorphic surrealism. His exposure to Piet Mondrian in the 1930s prompted him to explore the potential of hard-edged abstraction; the colorful neo-plastic paintings he began creating at this time characterized his work for the rest of his life. Fiercely committed to the avant-garde, Bolotowsky joined The Ten, a band of nine artists including Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko that advocated for new forms of abstraction. Although he never embraced Abstraction Expressionism like some of his peers, he remained an influential figure, teaching such notable artists as Kenneth Noland at Black Mountain College.

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Career Highlights
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Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

A fervent proponent of the power of abstract art and a major figure in American abstraction, Ilya Bolotowsky created work that reflected his unceasing interest in Modernist geometry. Born in Russia, Bolotowsky arrived in New York in 1923 and quickly grew interested in biomorphic surrealism. His exposure to Piet Mondrian in the 1930s prompted him to explore the potential of hard-edged abstraction; the colorful neo-plastic paintings he began creating at this time characterized his work for the rest of his life. Fiercely committed to the avant-garde, Bolotowsky joined The Ten, a band of nine artists including Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko that advocated for new forms of abstraction. Although he never embraced Abstraction Expressionism like some of his peers, he remained an influential figure, teaching such notable artists as Kenneth Noland at Black Mountain College.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more