A major figure in 20th-century American art gets a retrospective in ''Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski,'' currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Born in the Ukraine, he came to the United States at the age of four, and it was here that he created his paintings, many of which are considered landmark works.
One highlight of the show is the 1962 Prince Patuszky Pleasures, a black circle filled with smaller pink, green and red circles on an orange background. Another is With Love and Disregard: Rapture, which seems to be done in a completely different style. Gone are the simple shapes of Pleasures; instead, wilder, rough-edged shapes and blended color fill the canvas.
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In press materials, Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art and special projects at the museum, says, “Jules Olitski can be regarded as one of America’s last classical modern painters.” The exhibition features five decades of Olitski’s paintings, including work from five major series: Stain, Spray, Baroque, High Baroque and With Love and Disregard. For each series, Olitski changed his style and his tools. He used a variety of techniques through the years, from brushes to spray guns to brooms. “Throughout his career, he embraced new media and techniques,” says de Lima Greene, “but he always balanced even his most radical experiments with an acute sense of the history of art.” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through May 6. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $5 to $10.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 12. Continues through May 6, 2012