Ilya Bolotowsky

Red/Blue/Black Diamond (48/125), c1970
25.75 x 35.88 in
SKU: 6945g
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Ilya Bolotowsky's Red/Blue/Black Diamond from around 1970, immediately shows the deep influence of Piet Mondrian's New-Plasticism. Bolotowsky first saw Mondrian's paintings in the 1930s and adopted a Neo-Plastic style in the late 1940s. This diamond-shaped silkcreen recalls the primary colors and the vertical and horizontal patterns of the Dutch painter. Bolotowsky liked the diamond-shaped format. He has said "That the feeling of space is much greater in a diamond-shaped area than in a square of the same lateral measurement because the vertical and horizontal dimensions are larger in relationship to the whole." The artist has a clean, pure, formal approach to painting; he reduces the work to horizontal lines, primary colors and black and white, and a geometric shape. Set against a white rectangle, the work appears to be suspended or floating. The colors form horizontal and vertical lines that create a pulsating pattern that causes the eye to move about the work. This silkscreen recalls Maurice Denis's declaration that painting is a surface covered with colors, which Klein notes was recruited as a foundational expression of the theory of abstract or non-objective painting. According to the critic Donald Kuspit, "[t]his is what the abstract work of art says: It has no identity other than itself and references no reality beyond its own."