Art Auction 2018 | Peter Krasnow


Peter Krasnow

K.-3 1972
Oil on board, 1972
24 x 18 1/2 inches
Courtesy of the Peter Krasnow Arts Foundation
Value: $2,000
Starting bid: $1,000
Executive Director’s Pick

Born in Ukraine, Peter Krasnow (1886–1979) immigrated to the United States in 1907 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While in New York exhibiting at the Whitney Club, he met photographer Edward Weston and began a lifelong friendship. Krasnow and his wife Rose drove cross-country in 1922 to settle in Los Angeles, where he quickly became part of a small but active art community. His notable peers included Weston, fellow artists Henrietta Shore, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Lorser Feitelson, and Helen Lundeberg, and architects Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra.

Krasnow’s early works, largely realist portraits and symbolic carved sculptures, are accomplished examples of social realism and Art Deco. His “Demountables” of the 1930s and 40s—hand-carved wood sculptures assembled from interlocking component parts—are organic abstractions drawing on traditions of folk and tribal art. His abstract paintings, whose bright, synthetic colors he developed to contrast with the dark political realities of the 1940s, are schematic compositions that include calligraphic symbols referencing spiritual ideas and organic processes. In both sculpture and painting, Krasnow developed styles that have surprising contemporary currency. His work was the subject of the acclaimed exhibition Peter Krasnow: Maverick Modernist at Laguna Art Museum in 2016.

Selected collections
Laguna Art Museum
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Whitney Museum of American Art

Selected exhibitions
Peter Krasnow: Maverick Modernist, Laguna Art Museum, 2016
Peter Krasnow: A Retrospective Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1975
The Work of Peter Krasnow 1907 to 1964: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, and Prints, Scripps College, Claremont, 1964

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