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Jules Olitski (American, 1922–2007)
LOT ID: 79313
Shades of Night, 2006

Watercolor, Gouache on Acrylic Ground on Paper
15 х 20 in. (38.1 x 50.8 cm.)
Signed, dated "Olitski '06" recto; signed, titled, dated, and inscribed by artist on verso
Lot description
Artwork measures 15 x 20 inches (38.1 x 50.8 cm). Framed dimensions are 23.9 x 28.8 inches (60.7 x 73.2 cm).

In this 2006 work on paper by Jules Olitski, rich washes and brushstrokes of violet and ocher are thrown into relief by notes of green, white, and gray. In a playful touch, Olitski has edged the paper with a hand-painted black "frame" that is as artful as the chromatic interplay at the paper's center. Executed in the year before the artist's death, "Shades of Night" is an expressive late work from one of America's most prominent abstract painters.

Jules Olitski (American, 1922-2007) was a prominent Abstract artist best known for his Color Field paintings. Throughout his long and innovative career, Olitski experimented with staining, spraying, and pouring paint in order to achieve new chromatic effects and harmonies, a process that lent many of his works a contemplative and uplifting character. Olitski studied at the National Academy of Design, New York, NY; the Beaux Arts Institute, New York, NY; the Ossip Zadkine School, Paris, France; and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, France before receiving his BA and MA from New York University. He had solo exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (1967); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (1969); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1973); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (1977), among many others. In 1973, his work was the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. During his lifetime, he received numerous awards for his art, including the Corcoran Gold Medal (1967) and the Skowhegan Award for Painting (2007), as well as several honorary doctorates. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991 and a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. He died in 2007.

Selected Public Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musee d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
Tate Modern, London, England
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Shades of Night by Jules Olitski
  • Shades of Night by Jules Olitski
  • Shades of Night by Jules Olitski
  • Shades of Night by Jules Olitski
  • Shades of Night by Jules Olitski
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