Artist of the moment…..Ilya Bolotowsky….

The artist was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in the year 1901.

The artist attended college at the University of St. Joseph in Istanbul, Turkey from 1921 to 1923. He then emigrated to the United States. He became a naturualized United States citizen in 1929.

Whilst in the United States studied at the National Academy of Art and Design in New York city. He also became associated with a group that came to be known in the art world as the group of ten. They rebelled against the Academy and held exhibitions on their own. The most famous of these artists was Mark Rothko. It was during this period of his life he became aware of Piet Mondrian and his use of the grid and primary colors.

Bolotowsky worked in several mediums such as oil, acrylics, serigraphs, silkcreens, gouache, and wood.

Here is the best compilation of works by Bolotowsky I could find. Paintings start at nine seconds into the video.


Low price range: Acrylics start at $1,000.  Oil paintings start at $5,000. Prints can be found for a few hundred dollars.

High price range: Oil painting record is $35,000. Acrylics record is $26,070.

The artist with the most influence on Bolotowsky was Piet Mondrian. Mondrain was a Dutch artist who specialized in abstract works with geometric shapes. Mondrian used a plain white background. He then painted a grid using black and the three primary colors. Bolotowsky used some ideas of Mondrian and also inlcuded ideas from other movements including Cubism.


Bolotowsky taught at several universities over his lifetime including the University of New Mexico, Long Island University, and Black Mountain College.


In the 1930s New York mayor Fierrello LaGuardia was the chief component behind housing projects in Brooklyn. Some abstract artists received commissions from the federal government. This included Bolotowsky, Balcomb Green, Paul Kelpe, and Al Swinden. These houses were designated a national landmark in 2003. Awesome!


In the 1960s he turned to working with wood and tried various forms of sculpture.


Bolotowksy passed away in 1981 at the age of 74.

This artist caught my eye, and you might have seen the story on the news as well. A lady purchased a work by the artist for less than $10. Where did this thrifty buyer find the painting? At a Goodwill store! What a fantastic story!!!

The artist who bought the painting at Goodwill sometimes buses slightly used canvases to begin her paintings of kitties. Her name is Beth Feeback and a link to her website is here:

After seeing the quality of the painting a friend told her not to paint over it. She did some research about the signature and found out she had a true abstract masterpiece. The piece was sold recently at auction for $34,375 including the buyers premium. Feeback collected over $27,000 for her efforts. I hope she at least purchases some linen or birch panels to experiment on!


What a great story!

Make some time every day for art. Read about it, create it! Get involved!


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