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Expect Nothing, Do Your Work, Celebrate

Post #1676 • April 9, 2014, 6:11 AM • 1 Comment

[Image: Jules Olitski, Penelope's Flight, 1988, courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery]

Jules Olitski, Penelope's Flight, 1988, courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery

Artsy Editorial speaks with Lauren Olitski about her father Jules.

Words like “intention” almost never crossed [my father’s] mind. I don’t believe even my father, himself, could tell you why his work is important within art history. He wanted to create art that would hold up against the Old Masters. He challenged himself every day to make paintings that were as great, as inspiring, and as beautiful as paintings can be. He was curious. He tried things. As a boy he saw Rembrandt at the 1939 World’s Fair and was deeply affected by that experience. They were the first real paintings he’d ever seen, and I believe they gave him courage to think that being an artist might be a worthy career. ...

My father taught me to strive for excellence, to work hard, take chances, to value beauty, and to be grateful. There is a phrase he came up with, “Expect Nothing, Do Your Work, Celebrate.” He wrote it on a scrap of paper and tacked it to the studio wall. Those are words I try to live by. The first part is the hardest.

Comment

1.

John Link

April 9, 2014, 11:35 PM

The first part may be the hardest, but it is the most dependable of the three.

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