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April 14, 1995 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-04-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Russian-born artist Anatole Krasnyansky's works show "something new,
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here was a time when con-
tradictions in the former
Soviet Union were a way of
life.
Anatole Krasnyansky knew
that too well.
Chief architect of the Kiev
metro system and the Polytech-
nic Institute, and a major figure
with the redesign of the Her-
mitage, Mr. Krasnyansky found
his professional persona at odds
with his interest in his Jewish
heritage.
Today, Mr. Krasnyansky's
works, along with those of sever-
al other Jewish artists, are on dis-
play at Park West Gallery in
Southfield.
Park West President Albert
Scaglione describes Mr. Kras-
nyansky as "a man full of life and
energy. When you spend time
with these works, you'll find

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Prejudice against Jews, how-
ever, was a stark reality when
Mr. Krasnyansky was a Soviet
citizen. Just as public recognition
for his work as an architect was
rising, so, too, was his interest in
his Jewish heritage. In an athe-
istic country of gulags where
Marxist doctrine served as pseu-
do-religious worship, Mr. Kras-
nyansky found himself out of step
with the high-stepping Commu-
nist regime.
Back then, if you asked a So-
viet Communist how anti-Semi-
tism could exist in a country that
held to the doctrine of Karl Marx,
who was born a Jew, the answer
might be: But Marx was a corn-
munist first.
A good rationalization could
take you a long way. And, the
search for authenticity, Mr. Kras-
nyansky found, would take him
out of the country.
The many ironies and de-
ceptions of Soviet life were
hardly lost on Mr. Kras-
nyansky. Indeed, he turned
it into the substance of his
art. He studied how people
"wear masks," often hiding
their true selves and honest
feelings, Mr. Scaglione said.
It was a study of human
nature that would find its
way into his work as a
painter.

He worked on the
redesign of the
Hermitage.

Louis XV
Empire
Sheraton

Chippendale
Queen Anne
George II

something new, something re-
vealing."
Mr. Krasnyansky's impres-
sionistic European landscapes
and his latest highly stylized
works hang at Park West along
with those of Israeli artist Itzchak
Tarkay and American artist Pe-
ter Max. Collectively, they
demonstrate three internation-
ally known artists — from the
modern to the cosmopolitan to
the avant garde.
But what is also striking, Mr.
Scaglione says, is that over the
last century, Jewish artists have
gone from interpreting the work
of others to creating some of the
most original work in the art
world. Clearly, at the dawn of the
21st century, Jewish artists have
emerged from "years of repres-
sion" to become a dominant in-
ternational artistic force, he said.

Krasnyansky's "The Couple."

Mr. Krasnyansky could
have compromised and re-
nounced his past, stay in
Russia and lead the life of
privilege, Mr. Scaglione said.
After all, he was at the top of
Soviet society as a world-
renowned architect.
But in 1974, Mr. Kras-
nyansky chose to leave the
Soviet Union. After living in
Italy for one year, he moved
to California with his wife
and daughter. Shortly there-
after, he began a stint as a
set designer in Hollywood.
He left one country where
they wore "masks of decep-
tion" and arrived in a city
where wearing a mask was
stylish and vogue. The spec-
trum of the masks must have
seemed like a bizarre circle.
In Los Angeles, Mr. Kras-
nyansky combined his ar-
chitectural and painting talents

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