Art In America

Jules Olitski

at Paul Kasmin Gallery,
293 Tenth Ave.

In the late 1980s, Jules Olitski (1922-2007) embarked on a new series of abstract canvases inspired by Spanish Baroque painting. Made of colorful whooshes of inches-thick globs of acrylic, applied with mittlike gloves, the paintings sport surfaces finished with a delicate dusting of dark-hued spray paint. When these so-called Mitt Paintings were first shown, some observers saw them as poking fun at the Color Field movement that Olitski himself pioneered in the 1960s. They have significantly improved with age. The iridescent, lustrous surfaces shift in a subtle play of light and depth as one moves in front of the canvases.


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