Peter Krasnow Biography

Essay | Chronology | Solo Shows | Group Shows | Public Collections

Peter Krasnow arrived in Los Angeles in 1922 after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and working for year or two in New York. In California, his art reflected a newfound freedom of expression. He painted, he drew and he carved wood; he made lithographs, woodengravings and monotypes; he created portraits, narratives and abstractions. Whichever medium or imagery Krasnow elected to use, it became 'his' through a personal aesthetic language.

The work in this exhibition evolves, 1916 through 1977, from the conservative roots Krasnow developed at the Art Institute School. . . to the LIGHT of California in his palette . . . followed by the elements of art deco . . . through an incredible period of abstract carved sculptures (his 'demountables' among them) . . . to non-objective abstractions that, eventually, reveal narratives and his latent Jewish heritage.

--Tobey Moss
For the 1996 exhibition, Peter Krasnow: A Retrospective Exhibition, Contrasts: 1916 to 1977


 1887  Born in the Ukraine
 1907  Emigrated to United States, initially living in Boston
 1908  Moved to Chicago; enrolled at Art Institute while working on security staff
 1915  Graduated from the Art Institute; married 'his' Rose Bloom
 1919  Moved to New York
 1922  Drove across country to California
 1923  Built redwood cabin/studio near Glendale, on a lot bought from friend Edward Weston
 1923  Exhibited with `The Group of Independent Artists' of MacDowell Club, Los Angeles with Stanton Macdonald Wright, Boris Deutsch, Nick Brigante, Ben Berlin, etc.
 1920s  Accepted commissions for paintings and carvings from Temple Emmanu-El, San Francisco; Sinai Temple, Los Angeles; University of Southern California, Bullock's Wilshire, private collectors and architects
 1927/28  Created series of lithographs
 1931  Received Guggenheim grant, Peter and Rose went to the Dordogne region in France
 1932/34  Exchanged letters with Edward Weston concerning political conditions in United States and Europe
 1934  After Galerie Pierre exhibit in Paris, sailed for the United States and California
 1935/40  Focus upon carved wood sculptures
 1944  Returns to the easel with new techniques of the geometric/narrative
 1977  Receives fellowship from National Endowment for the Arts
 1979  Dies in Los Angeles

Selected One-Person Exhibitions:


 Whitney Studio Club, New York

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 1923  MacDowell Club, Los Angeles

 Oakland Municipal Art Gallery

Seattle Society of Fine Arts

Dalzell Hatfield Gallery, Los Angeles

Zeitlin Book Store, Los Angeles

 1929  Scripps College, Claremont, California
 1930  Stendahl Art Galleries, Los Angeles
 1931  California Palace of Legion of Honor, San Francisco
 1934  Galerie Pierre, Paris


The Print Rooms, Los Angeles

 1939  Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego

 Stendahl Art Galleries, Los Angeles


 1954  Pasadena Art Institute
 1964  Scripps College, Claremont, California
 1975  L.A. Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park
 1977  Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California
 1978  Skirball Museum, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles
 1986,`89,`91,`93  Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles
 1994  Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan,Utah

Selected Group Exhibitions:

 1922  6th Annual Exhibition:Society of Independent Artists, TheWaldorf Astoria, New York
 1923  Group of Independent Artists, Taos Building, Los Angeles
 1925  Whitney Studio Club Annual, New York
 1926  Whitney Studio Club Annual, New York
 1927  49th Annual Exhibition: San Francisco Art Association, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
 1935  16th Annual Painters and Sculptors Exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
 1950  Los Angeles County Museum of Art
 1955  III Bienal, Museu de Art Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil
 1965  Art Now: Los Angeles Art Association Gallery
 1974  Nine Senior Southern California Painters, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
 1976  Painting and Sculpture in California:The Modern Era, San Francisco Museum/Modern Art

 Whitney Museum, New York

National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

 1981  Los Angeles 1920s-1960s - Tobey C. Moss Gallery
 1984  Between The Olympics - Los Angeles 1932-1984, Tobey C. Moss Gallery
 1985  California 1920-1945 - Tobey C. Moss Gallery
 1986  Aspects of California Modernism, Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC
 1989  Forty Years of California Assemblage - U.C.L.A., San Jose Museum of Art, Fresno Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum/Omaha
 1989-90  Blueprints for Modern Living - Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
 1990-92  Turning the Tide - U.C. Santa Barbara, Oakland Art Museum, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art/Utah, Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum/Texas, Laguna Art Museum, Palm Springs Desert Museum of Art

Selected Public Collections:

Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona

University of Arizona Art Museum, Tucson, Arizona

DeSaisset Museum, Santa Clara, California

Galka E. Scheyer Collection-Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California

Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California

Laguna Art Museum, California

Long Beach Museum of Art, California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, California

Oakland Art Museum, California

Palm Springs Desert Museum of Art, California

Pasadena Art Museum, California

Skirball Museum, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, California

San Jose Museum of Art, California

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California

University Art Museum, Berkeley, California

Spertus Museum, Chicago, Illinois

Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel

Sheldon Memorial Art Galleries, University of Nebraska

The Jewish Museum, New York, New York

Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah

National Museum of American Art, Washington,D.C.

University of Judaism, Los Angeles

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