Ilya Bolotowsky

(St. Petersburg, Russia, 1907 - 1981, New York, United States)

Yellow Tondo


Acrylic on canvas

47 1/2 x 47 1/2 in. (120.7 x 120.7 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John A. McAlonan Trust Fund


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Bolotowsky was heavily influenced by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, who emphasized abstract shapes over naturalistic imagery and restricted his palette to black, white and the primary colors (blue, yellow and red). Rather than seeing these principles as limiting, Bolotowsky, like Mondrian, felt that pure forms could transcend the material world to convey “feelings of timeless harmony.” Bolotowsky often worked with unusually shaped canvases such as the tondo (circular shape) seen here. A leading American advocate of geometric abstraction, in 1936 he helped found the still active, artist-run organization American Abstract Artists.


signed and dated LR

Abstract art
Oil painting
Color Field