Untitled (Red Ellipse)
© The Estate of Ilya Bolotowsky / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Various shades of red shapes within an oval. Blue and yellow lines are within the oval shape.
An instructor at Black Mountain College in the academic years 1946 through 1948 and summer 1947, Bolotowsky was known early on for the biomorphic abstract murals he created in New York City for the WPA. His later works such as Untitled (Red Ellipse) adhered to the tenets of neoplasticism, Piet Mondrian’s term for the work of the De Stijl artists who reduced their visual vocabulary to straight lines and primary colors. Within this limited means of expression, Bolotowsky was interested in creating flat tension using shapes and color. He described the straight lines within the ellipse form in particular as seeming to curve away from the edge, then appearing straight again after a renewed look. He referred to this as a bowstring effect, not achievable in rectangular formats.
Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Cindy Buckner
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