Born in Snovsk, Russia in 1922, Jules Olitski first made his mark in the art world during the 1960s. From 1939 to 1942 he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and from 1940 to 1942, at the Beaux-Arts Institute in New York. From 1949 to 1950, he studied in Paris at the École Ossip Zadkin and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He received a B.A. and an M.A. from New York University in 1954.
Olitski had his first solo exhibition in 1967 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and in 1969 he became the first living artist to ever have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. During the 1990s, Olitski mostly painted landscapes inspired by sunrises and sunsets at his home in Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire and his winter haven in the Florida Keys.
From 1994 to 1999, Olitski spent two weeks each year at Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, where he created numerous prints. These prints were created on a Dufa #4 German offset press, one of four such presses still in operation in the United States. To create the prints, Olitski paints directly on a single plate, places it on the press’ rollers and transfers the images to paper. He uses only a single plate, rather than the four separate plates used in the four-color printing process. This technique makes each monoprint unique, allowing for about five or six similar prints to be made from the same plate. In five years, Olitski produced some 70 works during his bi-weekly stays at the Hartford Art School.