Works

Press Release

"Throughout the 1970's the surfaces of Olitski's paintings gradually became more substantial, while the lush, weightless color of the sprays gradually subsided into dense, subdued monochromes. He seemed to be itemizing his pictorial syntax, selecting texture and all-overness as the elements he wished to concentrate on, and giving them precedence over chroma." Karen Wilkin, New York, 2005, Jules Olitski Six Decades, The Goldman Warehouse

Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition of Jules Olitski, The Seventies, Painting and Sculpture, on view at 293 Tenth Avenue from March 30th, through April 29th, 2006. Presented in collaboration with Knoedler, and as a sequel to their Fall 2005 exhibition Matter Embraced, 1950's and Now, this exhibition reacquaints us with Olitski's expansive, more monochromatic paintings of the 1970's and his cor-ten steel sculpture from the same period. These works of this inventive period in Olitski's career have not been exhibited publicly together as a concentrated group.

In the early 1970's Jules Olitski began to move forward from the spray paintings which he had become famous for and began to explore new and challenging boundaries in his painting. This intense period of discovery would emphasize new color-situations, mixed with subtlety and force. A surprising change to the surfaces of the paintings sprang to life in many new forms. Heavy impasto became evident and strong brushwork would mark a new signature in these works.

"Last fall I had gone to Olitski's studio outside Cambridge in England to see what this American painter was doing. I had found to my great surprise that Olitski was involved in making sculpture-innovative sculpture of a very high order, which we would be proud to exhibit in our galleries." Henry Geldzahler, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, April 1969

The three sculptures on view were created between 1972-73. First exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston then traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1977, the character of these steel works is circular and elliptical, concave and convex owing a debt to his painting of the early 1960's. These concentric ring sculptures would become one of the signature geometric forms associated with Minimal Art.

Born in 1922 in Soviet Russia, Jules Olitski immigrated at an early age to the United States and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from New York University. Among his many honors, he represented the United States at the Venice Bieniale in 1966, he was the first living artist to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969, he was elected to the National Academy in 1993 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. His work is in the collections of major public institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Tate. Olitski, turning 84 later this month, lives and works in New Hampshire and Florida.

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