Gallery: Jules Olitski: On The Edge – A Decade of Innovation

by Michael Goldstein

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Written by Michael Goldstein for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by
Michael Goldstein

5 out of 5 stars


NEW YORK, NY (November 8, 2015) Color came streaming into East 68th Street’s Leslie Feely Gallery this Fall as its November 5th opening unveiled 14 works by painter Jules Olitski. Jules works dominate the walls as he undergoes experiments with color and surface texture. The name of the exhibit, On the Edge – A Decade of Innovation, certainly lives up to its name.

In his abstract expressionism, each canvas is filled edge to edge with grand strokes, creating a simplistic portrait with a deeper texture, as the dry paint occasionally adds a physical dimension to what can be considered a flat surface.

The works by painter Jules Olitski at the Leslie Feely Gallery

In some paintings, such as the painting Beauty Mouth, there is a constant force of flowing color, essentially, one paint on a canvas. Olitski, however, has manipulated the intensity of his brush strokes in such a way that not only does the portrait resemble one large stroke, but each picture has also a touch of illumination, creating a dazzling portrait with a simplistic design and nature, but irrefutable domination.

In a few others, specifically in his paintings, Hyksos Factor-Four and Hyksos Factor III, there appears to be a power struggle between light and dark. There is no precise winner, instead choosing to rely on a momentum of force that appears to have been frozen in time and locked behind glass for the entire world to see.

One more painting that particularly sticks out is Cythera-2, its name, derived from Jean-Antoine Watteu’s The Embarkation for Cythera, referring to the island Cythera considered to be the home of Aphrodite. Here, Olitski has enforced pastel blue and yellow to create a marvelous reflection of the edge of the ocean mingling with the sand on the shore.

In the end, Olitski brings a powerful wash of color to each painting, be it either delicate or full of force. Each surface has been made into its own plane of existence.

The exhibit is on view from November 5, 2015 – January 16, 2016.

For more information about Jules Olitski, visit:
For more information about the Leslie Feely gallery, visit:

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