Ilya Bolotowsky
Birth Date: July 1, 1907
Death Date: November 22, 1981
Artist Gallery
Ilya Bolotowsky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1907. He spent most of his childhood in Baku on the Caspian Sea, where his father was a lawyer. After the Communist Revolution, however, his family had to flee, first to the Republic of Georgia and then, only hours ahead of the Soviets, to Constantinople. He became a citizen of the United States in 1929 and lived in New York City. Bolotowsky readily acknowledged his debt to Piet Mondrian. His early paintings showed a typical blend of synthetic cubism and traces of the art of Joan Miro. Later, however, he concentrated on the order and simplicity of neo-placticism. In the 40s increasingly influenced by Mondrian’s work, Bolotowsky dropped extraneous forms and diagonals and concentrated on horizontal vertical patterns. Bolotowsky was asked how he arrived at his style and this was his comment: “After I went through a lot of violent historical upheavals in my early life, I came to prefer a search for an ideal harmony and order which is still a free order, not militaristic, not symmetrical, not goose-stepping, no academic, you see. And this is my taste. Now you might say, where do you go from here, what do you do next? This somehow never bothered me because in the process of painting, new possibilities develop and you can always go on. If your love of painting and your ability are sufficient, then your work will continue”.