Jules Olitski (American, 1922–2007) was a painter and sculptor, born in Snovsk, Russia (currently Shchors, Ukraine). In 1923, he moved with his mother to New York City, NY, where he developed an interest in drawing at a young age and had the opportunity to view and study art frequently. While studying in Paris between 1949 and 1951, he was exposed to works by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963), and Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), among others, which further inspired his interest in the arts.

After his first solo exhibition in Paris, he returned to New York City in 1951. Until 1955, Olitski studied philosophy and art education at New York University. At this time, he began painting monochromatic Abstract works. He experimented with different methods of applying pigments to canvases by using sponges and brushes and by pouring or spraying paint directly to the surface. These techniques made Olitski a prominent figure in the color field painting style. In 1969, Olitski became the first living artist to be featured in a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, among many others.

Timeline

1922
Born Jevel Demikovosky on March 27th in Snovsk, Ukraine
1923
Emigrated with his mother to Brooklyn, NY
1939
Scholarship to the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1939–1942
Attended National Academy of Design, New York, NY
1940–1942
Attended Beaux Arts Institute, New York, NY
1949
Studied with Ossip Zadkine in the Zadkine School of Sculpture
1949–1950
Attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, France
1952
B.S., New York University, New York, NY
1954
M.A., New York University, New York, NY
1954–1955
Associate Professor of Art, State University of New York at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
1955–1956
Curator, New York University Art Education Gallery, New York, NY
1956–1963
Art Instructor and Fine Arts Department Coordinator, C. W. Post College, Long Island University, Greenvale, NY
1964
Awarded Purchase Prize, Ford Foundation, New York, NY
1963–1967
Instructor in Art, Bennington College, Bennington, VT
1967
First Prize and Gold Medal, 30th Biennial Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC
1975
Distinction in the Arts Award, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
1987
Sally and Milton Avery Professor, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
1991
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sceinces, Cambridge, MA
1993
Associate, National Academician, National Academy of Design, New York, NY
2007
Died on February 4th in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2011
Embracing Circles, Inaugural Exhibition, FreedmanArt, New York, USA (solo)
Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski, Kemper Museum, Kansas City, USA; travelled to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Toledo Museum of Arts, Toledo; Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington, D.C., USA
2010
Jules Olitski: Prints (1954-2007), The Butler Museum of American Art, Youngstown, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: Circles Embraced, 1959-1964, Hackett Mill, San Francisco, USA (solo)
2009
Jules Olitski: An Inside View, A Survey of Prints, 1954-2007, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: An Inside View, The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (solo)
2008
Jules Olitski An Inside View, A Survery of Prints 1954-2007, Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, USA (solo)
2007
In Circulation: Works on Paper, The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (solo)
Jules Olitski: The Late Paintings, A Celebration, Knoedler & Company, New York, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the 1980s, Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, USA (solo)
2006
Jules Olitski: The Seventies Painting and Sculpture, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: Works on Paper, The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (solo)
2005
Jules Olitski, Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski - Matter Embraced: Paintings 1950s and Now, Knoedler & Company, New York, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: Six Decades, The Goldman Warehouse, Miami, USA (solo)
2004
Jules Olitski: Half a Life's Work, Selected Paintings 1972–2002, The Singer Gallery at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, Denver, USA (solo)
2003
American Master: Important Paintings and Works on Paper, Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, USA
Jules Olitski: Spray Paintings of the 1960s, Ameringer/Yohe Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
Voyages: Recent Paintings by Jules Olitski, The McIninch Art Gallery, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: A Ten-Year Retrospective 1993–2003, Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, USA (solo)
2002
Jules Olitski, Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton, USA (solo)
With Love and Disregard: New Paintings by Jules Olitski - an 80th Birthday Celebration, Ameringer/Yohe Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: New Acrylics and Watercolors, Gallery V, Columbus, USA (solo)
1960s Paper, Ameringer/Howard/Yohe, New York, USA
Landscapes, Ameringer/Howard/Yohe, Boca Raton, USA
Jules Olitski: Recent Works, Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, USA (solo)
Ameringer/Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, USA
Jules Olitski: Passages, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, England (solo)
Jules Olitski, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, Australia (solo)
Jules Olitski: Watercolors and Pastels, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: New Works on Paper and Intimate Paintings, Ameringer/Howard/ Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, USA (solo)
Olitski: Works on Paper, the 1960s, Ameringer/Howard/Yohe Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
2001
Jules Olitski, C.W. White Gallery, Portland, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent School of Art & Design, Nottingham, England (solo)
Jules Olitski: New Work on Paper, Ameringer/Howard Gallery, Boca Raton, USA (solo)
Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, USA
Jules Olitski: New Works on Paper, Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski, C.W. White Gallery, Portland, USA (solo)
Five Decades of Jules Olitski: A Traveling Retrospective Including Prints, Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, USA, traveled to Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, USA (solo)
2000
Jules Olitski, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, Australia (solo)
Jules Olitski, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (solo)
Jules Olitski, Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton, USA (solo)
Jules Olitski: New Work, Ameringer/Howard Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
1999
Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, USA
1996
Contemporary Masters, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, USA
1995
Monotypes, Long Fine Arts, New York, USA
1991
Galeria Afinsa, Porto, Portugal
1990
Retrospective, Salander O'Reilly Galleries, Los Angeles, USA
1989
Print Retrospective, Associated American Artists, New York, USA
1987
Galerie Wentzel, Cologne, Germany
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, USA
1985
La Musée de Valence, Valence, France
1984
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France
Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, USA
1973
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (solo)
1969
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA (solo)
1967
30th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Painters, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1966
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1961
Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting & Sculpture, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, USA
1958
Zodiac Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1951
Galerie Huit, Paris, France (solo)