Rita Blitt

untitled 01 by Miki Baird

untitled 02 by Miki Baird

untitled 03 by Miki Baird

untitled 04 by Miki Baird

untitled 05 by Miki Baird

Rita Blitt (American, b. 1931)

untitled, 1989

Acrylic on paper

Five works, 30 x 22 in each

Kansas City-based artist Rita Blitt explores the formal possibilities of free-form gestural lines in both nonrepresentational acrylic paintings and large-scale sculptures. Sinuous, calligraphic arcs appear in most of these works, either as stark ink-like brushstrokes against a blank background or as elegantly curved sheets of steel, bronze, or acrylic. This suite of five acrylic paintings on paper exemplifies Blitt’s economical use of line. Her sweeping strokes of thin paint divide the bare paper into fields of black and white, activating the support as an integral part of each composition. The paintings differ slightly; in some the paint twists and dives dramatically across the paper, and in others the lines gracefully intersect and intertwine. Together these works form a complementary group and highlight the dynamism of Blitt’s marks. Often working with a brush in each hand to achieve her fluid compositions, she refers to her gestural style as “dancing on paper.”


Rita Blitt was born in Kansas City, attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and studied painting with the celebrated artist Wilbur Niewald at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work has been featured in dozens of solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her work can be found in numerous private collections and museums such as the Mulvane Art Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art, and the Singapore Museum of Art.  Her monumental sculptures are installed in public spaces in Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.

– Mary Frances Ivey, doctoral student in art history at the University of Kansas, April 2019

KU School of Business Art Collection