Ilya Bolotowsky (1907 – 1981) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. After spending his childhood in Turkey he moved to New York City where he studied at the American Academy of Design in 1923.
Early in his career he began painting non-objectively and exploring color theory, although both practices were discouraged throughout his education. Bolotowsky continued working in this fashion however and became one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists, and is associated with “The Ten”, a group including Mark Rothko and Joseph Solman, among others. By the 1940s Bolotowsky came into contact with Piet Mondrian, and was deeply influenced by the artist’s style which valued strict harmony and order. For the rest of his career Bolotowsky’s works would consider Mondrian’s design philosophy while experimenting with line, color, and composition to create his own playful version of this celebrated style.
Bolotowsky’s work is included in many major collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Harvard University Art Museums, Boston, MA; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, among others.