In the late 1950s Olitski became friends with the influential American art critic Clement Greenberg and in 1958 exhibited in a group show at French & Co (a gallery for which Greenberg was a consultant). The show included such artists as Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland and David Smith. In 1960 Olitski began to pour and stain dye onto large canvases. He experimented with different methods of applying paint, using brushes, sponges, mops and rollers. From 1965 he began to spray paint onto his canvases in order to create dematerialised fields of colour. During these years, when he was at the height of his fame and influence, he participated in several important group exhibitions including the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1961), Formalists at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (1963), Three New American Painters at Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Canada (1963), and the 1966 Venice Biennale.
Olitski taught at C.W. Post College, Long Island University, New York from 1956 to 1963, and at Bennington College, Vermont from 1963 to 1967. He had his first solo museum exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, in 1967, and in 1969 was given his first sculpture show by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the first solo exhibition given by that museum to a living American artist. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston held a retrospective exhibition in 1973. His work since the 1980s has seen a return to the heavily textured surfaces of his early paintings.
Jules Olitski, 'Painting in Colour', Artforum, vol.5, no.5, Jan. 1967, p.20
Kenworth Moffett, Jules Olitski, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1973