Anatole Krasnyansky

Anatole Krasnyansky - Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery Presents the Art of
Anatole Krasnyansky (Born 1930)

Before leaving the Soviet Union in 1975 and moving to Los Angeles, Anatole Krasnyansky, had already achieved recognition as an important watercolor painter and architect. His work was embraced in Europe and the USSR and stylistically today his "Old World" imagery still remains a part of his artistic output, appearing in evocative cityscapes which focus on his architectural skills and convey a poetic mood. More recently, he created an entirely new style which embodies his Eastern European roots and yet fully embraces his new life in the United States.

Anatole Kranyansky's disciplined understanding of the relationship between sculpture, painting, the applied arts and architecture has profoundly shaped his work and his artistic philosophy. His experimentation with mediums and materials led to a technical breakthrough and allowed him to create his own artistic method, which is independent from traditional watercolor technique. Through his use of exotic textural "prepared" papers he has extended the medium's potential and elevated watercolor to a more expressive and dynamic from of painting possessing qualities more commonly associated with oil or acrylic painting.

In his figural works which often at first appear abstract, Krasnyansky still maintains relationships to the tangible world. These images which suggest a surrealist influence rely on rigorous modernist formal considerations but still retain echoes of his Eastern European heritage.

Along with his impressive fine art credentials, Krasnyansky worked as a scenic artist in motion pictures, the theatre and television. His specialized background was ideal for this demanding profession and as a lover of the baroque he incorporated the strength and fluid grace of the Baroque into his professional projects. His contemporary fine art imagery relies on extensive compositional inventiveness and fluid linear emphasis honed by his countless hours as an architectural draftsman.

A catalog raisonne of Krasnayansky's graphic works spanning nearly five decades of his art is scheduled for publication in late 2011 or early 2012.

Selected Television and Motion Picture work:

From 1981 - Stage Art Director at Odyssey Theatre, West Los Angeles. Credits include: Productions of "Mandrake", Machiavelli I. Dimont-K. Maurer & Ron Sossi Productions. From 1977 - Set designer at Universal Studios. Credits include: Coal Miner's Daughter; Beatles Forever; The Blues Brothers; The Bastard; Prisoner of Zenda; The Archer; Battlestar Galactica; Condominium; Airport '79; Gilligan's Island and others; 1975-76 - Scenic Artist at ABC and CBS Television Studios. Credits include: General Hospital; Variety Specials for Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Bette Davis, George Burns, Olivia Newton-John; Academy Awards Shows 1976-1977 and others.

Selected Exhibitions:

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Park West Gallery®, Southfield, MI; Los Gatos Museum, Los Gatos, California; solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, New Orleans, Atlantic City, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, San Diego and Tokyo; Dalzell Hatfield Galleries "International Watercolor Masters" (Camille Pissaro, Leonel Feininger, Marc Chagall, Diego Rivera, Reuben Rubin, Anatole Krasnyansky, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Francois Gilot); UCLA, Los Angeles, California

Check out some of the Park West Gallery You Tube videos featuring Anatole Krasnyansky using the Video Bar below:


Anatole Krasnyansky
Beautiful Paradoxes
by Morris Shapiro, Gallery Director, Park West Gallery

With an entirely mischievous twinkle in his eyes he greets me. I ask how he is, and as usual he responds, “Still alive,” with deadpan seriousness.

I have known this man for more than 15 years and
every time I am with him I am again surprised and amused by his paradoxes. He is a walking paradox; a tangle of contradictions and ironies in living color. Spend a few moments contemplating one of the twisting, turning, swirling, multi-colored, multi-textured figures that inhabits his art and what is true about him in reality, becomes symbolically true in pigment.

He walks slowly and carefully and carries a cane, but I have watched him dancing (think Groucho Marx meets Henry Kissinger).  He is intimate with the architecture and the liturgical symbolism of the world’s greatest cathedrals and yet I have seen him irreverently posing for photographs as a “saint” by holding a plate over his head to act as a “halo.” His physical appearance and demeanor both exude sophistication and refinement built on his classical cultural training, yet the genesis of much of his imagery emerges from something as foreign to classicism as rock and roll and “over the top” American entertainment. He cites the stimulus for creating one of his styles as experiencing the band “Kiss” (while working as a set designer) and how he was traumatized to the point of needing to create a cathartic artistic exorcism to feel normal again.

No surprise then that this duality carries into his extraordinary art. I know of very few artists who have worked simultaneously in multiple disparate styles. Yes, artists almost always pass through transformations in their work which often yield dramatic differences in style, subject and content, but Anatole creates a continuing artistic dichotomy to mirror his paradoxical nature.

His “Cityscapes,” which delight so many viewers reveal his deep experience as a draftsman, his brilliance as an architect and his poetic ability to create a poignant, evocative mood through a facile command of the unforgiving technique of watercolor.

His “figural” imagery, steeped in the ground breaking theories of visual perception that pass from Cezanne, through Picasso, to the aesthetician, Rudolph Arnheim (Art and Visual Perception, 1974) continually wrestle with the complex visual problems of plastic space, color interaction and orchestration of form. Yet both styles reside harmonically in the creative world of Anatole Krasnyansky. He has also sought ways of “reconciling” the two styles of his art, and fusing them into a unique conception. These works display his figures in architectural interiors, with lavish cityscapes seen from the windows, or figures flying above complex architectural structures beneath them. Most recently, he has begun to populate interiors with modeled figures (akin to a notion of sculpture) in various poses and activities, with elaborate and detailed vistas of architectural designs in the distance.

Regarding the content found in his works, there is also a fascinating duality. Though his works initially appear to be driven by formal concerns, as they “dance” and entertain the eye in an aesthetic “performance,” he also contemplates carefully and with great detail the messages he intends to present. I have listened to him discuss a painting and describe one-by-one each figure presented. With great precision he illuminates the subtle nuances of expression, position, apparent activity and even the costume worn by the figure and these relationships to his messages. Often they carry political meanings and incipient statements about dictatorship, hypocrisy, guile and manipulation stemming from his experience as a Soviet citizen. It is rare to find an artist so fluid in the formal language of art to be so articulate as well in the meanings of his imagery. Most artists allow the viewer to draw one’s own conclusions. Anatole welcomes these as well, but typical of his paradoxical nature is anxious to reveal and articulate his own allusions.

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About Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery, founded in 1969, is one of the artistic leaders in a new generation of art collecting. For more than 42 years, Park West Gallery has been providing art auction events around the United States and extensive art programs on international cruise lines. The goal of Park West Galleries has remained unchanged since its humble beginnings; to create an entertaining and educational atmosphere that will spark a passion for art in every individual that comes across our collection.

For centuries, art has primarily been held in the hands of the elite; commissions were given by kings, noblemen, and the church. The beautiful works of art that were created through those commissions remained in private collections, castles, and the homes of the very powerful. The common man had little time for anything but work and survival, and fine art was not in the average sphere of awareness. Fortunately, as the modern world progressed, industry began to replace agrarianism, serfdom was all but eliminated, and an appreciation for the "finer things" in life began to emerge. This shift carried on into the 20th century, which is considered by some to be the Golden Age of art publishing. Great artists such as Picasso, Renoir, Dali, Cezanne and many more found an outlet in the form of art dealers and publishers that brought their reputation and oeuvre to new heights. Park West Gallery follows in the proud tradition of celebrated publishers such as Ambrose Vollard and Louis Broder to represent the best artwork from many of the most prominent artists of the day.

For more than four decades, Park West Gallery has played an integral role in furthering the evolution of art. Park West Gallery represents a wide range of artists from across the world, and enables their art to be seen by thousands of new people every week through our wide-ranging cruise ship art programs. These artists may be new talent to the art world, such as Michael Milkin or Csaba Markus, who are finding their style and attracting attention as burgeoning successes in contemporary art. Park West Gallery also maintains long-lasting relationships with well-established contemporary artists such as Yaacov Agam and Peter Max, who have proven themselves to be brilliant and influential forces in the artistic community with an impressive list of exhibitions and accolades. Park West Galleries also works closely with the estates of master artists like Miro, Picasso, Dali and others whose legendary names are already canonized in art history books. By presenting such a wide array of art, Park West Gallery is accessible and attractive to everyone, whether you are a basic art lover, a novice collector, or someone that has been building a collection for many years.

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