Jules Olitski, 1922-2007
Post #952 • February 4, 2007, 5:57 PM • 35 Comments
A regular reader has just informed Artblog.net that Jules Olitski died this morning at 6:10.
I reviewed a retrospective of Olitski's work at the Goldman Warehouse in 2005. Googling "Jules Olitski" returns this post as an astoundingly high result, #12 or so, which I take as an unfortunate comment on the state of discussion about his work. In the last part of his career, making advanced, surprising, eminently wonderful paintings, he was treated with inversely proportionate critical attentions. This is not the time to lament the shortcomings of the art world, but I mention it because a great talent has left us, and those of us who treasure quality above all other artistic concerns feel an additional sting.
I want to express my condolences to the Olitski family, particularly to his daughter Lauren, whom I had the pleasure to meet during the Miami fairs this past December. Whatever is said about him in the coming days, I'd like it known that a dedicated group of art lovers regard him as one of the greatest painters of recent times, a crucial figure not only of an era gone by, but of this one as well. Although saddened by the fact that more of his works are not forthcoming, I saw for myself the impact that the 2005 show had on some sharp-eyed, younger Miami artists, and know beyond a doubt that his legacy of painterly charm, verve, and invention will far outlive him.