Yosef Zaritsky was intimately connected with the development of Israeli art. Zaritsky studied at the Akademiya khudozhestv (Academy of Art) in Kiev from 1910 to 1914. During World War I he was drafted into the Russian army, serving from 1915 to 1917. In 1923 he immigrated to Jerusalem, moving with his family to Tel Aviv in the mid-1920s. There he became actively involved in the city’s cultural life, painting the daily lives of the city’s inhabitants, primarily in watercolor. He went to Paris in 1927, where he was inspired by the modernist art he saw. With the New Horizons movement in 1948, Zaritsky and his fellow artists sought to promote progressive Zionist modernism. Beginning in the 1930s, Zaritsky painted hundreds of watercolors of Tel Aviv rooftops. The paintings became increasing abstract and this period proved a turning point for his practice. In 1948, he became the Chairman of the Association of Painters and Sculptors. He showed in the 1948 Venice Biennale. Zaritsky traveled to Europe in the mid-‘50s, where he mounted a solo show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1955.