You cannot get an absolute flatness in painting because of the interplay of the colors, the way they feel to us. But you can achieve relative flatness, within which the colors and the proportions might push back and forth creating an extra tension. This tense flatness must not destroy the overall flat tension, which, to my mind, in two-dimensional painting is the most important thing.

Ilya Bolotowsky

Ilya Bolotowsky 1907–1981

Ilya Bolotowsky was a prominent figure of American abstract painting who dedicated his artistic outputs to finding “ideal harmony and order.” He immigrated to New York from Russia in 1923 and enrolled at the National Academy of Design from 1924 to 1930 where he met Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko. He later joined "The Ten", a leading group of avant-garde artists, and became a founding member of the American Abstract Artists in 1936. Bolotowsky’s body of work centers on geometric, nonobjective forms executed in grid-like arrangements. The focal point is the relationships between primary colors created on unusually shaped canvases. His main artistic influences can be linked to Cubism, the works of Joan Miró and Kasimir Malevich, and the De Stijl principles of Piet Mondrian.

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