Jules Olitski, together with Larry Poons, Noland, Frankenthaler and Louis, was at the center of an absorbed interest in color which became known as the Colour Field Movement in the late 1950’s. In addition to having over 150 solo exhibitions worldwide, Olitski’s work is in collections of the Australian National Gallery, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, The Israel Museum (Israel), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Museum, Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).
Olitski studied at the National Academy of Design and the Beaux-Arts Institute in New York. In the 1960’s he began experimenting with stain painting techniques inspired by Helen Frankenthaler and began to pour paint, use brushes, sponges and rollers and was the first among his contemporaries to spray paint on canvas. Olitski adopted a technique in which he employed airbrushes or squeegees, applying paint in a multilayered film. Olitski himself, makes little distinction between representational and abstract art, and frequently crosses the line between them. What all his paintings have in common, whether oil on canvas, watercolor or pastel, are areas of rich lush color. Jules Olitski, again and again, tests the limits of how far a painting can be reduced to essentials of color and space without losing the power to move us deeply.
In 1966, Olitski won second place at the Venice Biennale and a year later, his work was featured at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Oliski was the first living artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.