Russian-born Ilya Bolotowsky immigrated to New York in 1923. After studying from 1924 to 1930 at the National Academy of Design, Bolotowsky received his first one-man show at New York’s G.R.D. Studios in 1930. Bolotowsky created numerous murals for the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project in the late 1930s. He was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists, a New York organization active during the 1930s and 1940s that opposed realistic styles and embraced non-objective subjects based on pure form and color. He taught at Black Mountain College from 1946-1948, replacing Josef Albers, who was on sabbatical leave. He then took teaching positions at other schools, among them the University of Wyoming, State Teacher’s College, New Paltz, New York, and the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. It was not until 1974 that Bolotowsky received his first one-man museum show, held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.