Untitled, c. 1970, Ilya Bolotosky (American, 1907–1981), Silkscreen print, Gift of James E. and Doris G. August, 1979.13.1.
Ilya Bolotowsky, born in 1907 in St. Petersburg, became a naturalized American citizen in 1929. He was employed briefly at the National Academy of Design in New York from 1924 to 1930 before travelling through Europe in the early 1930s. In 1936, he co-founded the American Abstract Artists group and received several commissions from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which aimed to fund the arts during the Great Depression. Inspired by the works of Piet Mondrian and Neo-plasticism, a term coined by Mondrian to describe his theories of the dynamic balance of a composition made up of blocks of primary colors. Bolotowsky eliminated the black outline to allow the outer edges of the colored rectangles to create their own vertical and horizontal tensions.