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Ilya Bolotowsky (1907-1981) was born in Russia and became a leading early 20th century painter of abstract styles in New York City. His work, a search for philosophical order through visual expression, embraced Cubism and Geometric Abstraction, and was much influenced by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Bolotowsky immigrated to America in 1923 to settle in New York City, where he attended the National Academy of Design.

In 1936, having turned to geometric abstractions, he was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists, a cooperative formed to promote the interests of abstract painters and to increase understanding between themselves and the public. Bolotowsky adopted his mentor's use of horizontal and vertical geometric pattern and a palette restricted to primary colors and neutrals. In the 1960s, he began making three-dimensional forms, usually vertical and straight sided.

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