was born in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg, Russia in 1907. He came to the United States in 1923 and became an American citizen in 1929. Bolotowsky studied at the College of St. Joseph in Istanbul, Turkey and at the National Academy of Design with Ivan Olinsky from 1924-30. He joined the United States Air Force in 1942.
As an artist and teacher, Bolotowsky has taught at Black Mountain College, the University of Wyoming, Brooklyn College (CUNY), Hunter College (CUNY), the State University of New York at New Paltz, Long Island University, Wisconsin State College, University of New Mexico and Queens College (CUNY). He conducted a Master easel and mural course for the Federal Arts Project and also produced 16 millimeter films. Bolotowsky was cofounder, charter member and past president of American Abstract Artists and cofounder and charter member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. Ilya Bolotowsky is a member of the AAAL.
Bolotowsky's commissioned works include one of the first abstract murals for the Williamsburg Housing Project, 1961; murals for the New York World's Fair, 1929; Hospital for Chronic Diseases, 1941; Theodore Roosevelt High School., 1941; Cinema I, 1962; Long Island University, 1968; North Central Bronx Hospital, 1973; First National Bank, 1974; a tile mosaic mural for P.S. 72, Brooklyn, 1974; and a mural for the New York City Passenger Ship terminal in 1978.