Ilya Bolotowsky

Russian/American, 1907–1981

Study for the Hall of Medical Sciences Mural at the 1939

World’s Fair in New York, 1937–38

Tempera on board

4 x 6 inches

Signed lower right

A pioneer of abstraction, Bolotowsky created numerous murals for the WPA’s Federal Art Project. One of his early works, this study for a mural for the New York World’s Fair shows his intent to create an ideal, balanced composition devoid of a dominant form. Strongly influenced by Joan Miró and Piet Mondrian, Bolotowsky sought to achieve compositional harmony in his works. Perhaps in response to the turmoil of the 1930s, American abstract artists looked to nonobjective art as a way to attain a sense of stability and equilibrium.