Rephahim Shade – 2 by Jules Olitski

Rephahim Shade – 2
Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

To the consternation of his supporters, Olitski abandoned his spray guns and bright vibrant colours in the mid-1970s, instead turning to a monochromatic palette and gestured broad brushwork. His work remained abstract; however, its dark and earthy tones and expressive application of paint were inspired by European Old Masters such as Rembrandt and El Greco. “Rephahim” is an ancient Hebrew word for shadows or shades of the dead.

Jules Olitski 1922-2007

Jules Olitski
Colour Field Painting
Born: 27 March 1922, Snovsk, Ukraine
Nationality: Ukrainian-American
Died: 4 February 2007, New York, USA

Olitski was a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He was instrumental in the development of the Colour Field school. Olitski stained his canvas surfaces in a technique that rejected the gestural brushwork of the Abstract Expressionist artist of the time. Olitski’s signature works eliminated the illusion of depth and any evidence of the artist’s touch, placing the emphasis on the materials used, the surface and the emotional strength of colour