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"Jules Olitski On An Intimate Scale... and Friends" opens at FreedmanArt in New York
Jules Olitski (1922-2007), First Passage, 1968, acrylic on canvas; 7 ½ x 17 ½ inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- FreedmanArt presents “Jules Olitski On An Intimate Scale… and Friends.” This exhibition opens Thursday, October 24. The more than thirty works in this exhibition present a retrospective overview of Olitski’s paintings through the artist’s distinctive periods: “Core/Stain” paintings; “Sprays”; “Baroque”; “High Baroque”; and the “Late” paintings. This exhibition demonstrates the immediacy of Olitski’s intimate and small-scale paintings.

The grouping of “friends” presents works, also of an intimate scale, for those artists who have enjoyed artistic camaraderie and friendship with Jules Olitski. These works include sculpture by Anthony Caro and David Smith, and paintings by Darby Bannard, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Kenneth Noland, and Larry Poons.

“Jules Olitski On An Intimate Scale… and Friends” is adapted from an exhibition organized by The George Washington University Luther W. Brady Art Gallery in fall of 2012 and traveled to the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania in spring of 2013. A catalogue accompanies “Jules Olitski On An Intimate Scale… and Friends” from its original presentation.

Jules Olitski was born in Snovsk, Russia in 1922, a few months after his father was executed by the Soviet government on political charges. He emigrated to America with his mother and grandmother soon after his birth, and they settled in Brooklyn in 1923.

In the early 1940s Olitski studied in New York at the National Academy of Design and the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design. Olitski studied on the GI Bill in Paris between 1949 and 1951, at the Ossip Zadkine School and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In 1952 and 1954 respectively he earned a BA and an MA in art education from New York University.

Olitski’s first solo exhibition in New York was in 1958 at Alexander Iolas Gallery. This exhibition attracted the attention of art critic Clement Greenberg, who invited Olitski to join French & Company, where Greenberg had been named advisor to the gallery’s contemporary painting department. Olitski had two solo exhibitions there, in 1959 and 1960. Upon the closing of French & Company, Olitski joined Poindexter Gallery in New York in 1961 and began exhibiting at David Mirvish Gallery in Toronto and Kasmin Gallery in London in 1964. In 1966 Olitski was invited by Henry Geldzahler to represent the United States in the 33rd Venice Biennale along with Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ellsworth Kelly. Olitski exhibited his famed and critically acclaimed Window Shade paintings at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, in the 1965 landmark exhibition Three American Painters, Noland, Olitski, and Stella.

Among Olitski’s many exhibitions and awards are Jules Olitski: Paintings, 1963-1967 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Pasadena Art Museum, California; and in 1967 Olitski was awarded the Corcoran Gold Medal and William A. Clark Prize at the 30th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Painters at the Corcoran. In 1969 Olitski was the first living American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Sculpture of Jules Olitski. In 1973 Jules Olitski, a retrospective curated by Kenworth Moffett, opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and traveled the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art. Five Decades of Jules Olitski: A Traveling Retrospective including Prints, Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture opened in 2000 at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida, and traveled to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Jules Olitski: Six Decades, curated by Karen Wilkin, opened in 2005 at Goldman Warehouse, Miami. Olitski was pleased to see both the early and late works spanning his career in the exhibition Matter Embraced at Knoedler & Company in 2005. In 2006, Olitski became a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters.

Jules Olitski continued his creative endeavors up until his death, at age 84, in February 2007. In Spring 2007 he was posthumously awarded the prestigious Skowhegan Medal for Painting.

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