In 2016, the Mead acquired Untitled, ca. 1970, through the generosity of an alumnus. Together with three additional Bolotowsky works, this display emphasizes how the artist employs a concise visual language of abstract, rectilinear forms. Though the austere repetition of these shapes could make his work seem static and inactive, the freestanding nature of the column offers an infinite number of compositional units from any side or combination of sides. Devoid of any figurative elements or even expressive textures, the possibility for harmony between the vertical and horizontal elements in his art creates tension and visual stimulation. Bolotowsky’s geometrical style reveals his affinity for the work of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, who used only straight lines and rectangles in primary colors and black, white, and gray in an effort to create total harmonic perfection transcendent of individualism and idiosyncrasy. Bolotowsky, however, challenged Mondrian’s idealist conception, called Neoplasticism, by working with three-dimensional forms, grounding his object in real space.
nonrepresentational art; abstract; geometry; color theory