Relatively: Michail Krasnow Retrospective

Dec. 1, 2017 – Jan. 20, 2018
Sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital, Bank of the West, Betty Bechtel, Lancer Livermont, Ed and Barb Chamberlain, Don Meyers, and Janice Nolan
First Friday reception Dec. 1, 7-9pm

Born in Germany to Russian parents in 1950, Michail Krasnow immigrated to the United States with his parents and two older sisters in 1951. His green card deems him a “displaced person,” a designation which suits his artistic style. Hyper-realistic in form yet overwhelmingly surrealist in content, the subject matter and symbolism in Krasnow’s work is often rooted in his dual identification with his Russian heritage and his life in the United States. Airbrush was his primary tool. Self-taught, Krasnow used the airbrush not only as an individual tool, but also in conjunction with many other media, from chalk-based pastels to oil paints.


After a brief stay in New Orleans, Krasnow’s family settled in the Grand Valley in 1953. He graduated from Grand Junction High School and attended Mesa Junior College. Krasnow worked with Van Deusen Architects from 1969 until 1982, upon concluding that architecture was more like “archi-torture.” He then served as an Associate Lecturer of Airbrush at Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) from 1983 to 1998. Krasnow exhibited his work in shows organized by the college in addition to other regional galleries, where he received numerous awards and acknowledgments. He received fourth place in the Second Annual National Airbrush Excellence Competition and was published in Airbrush Action Magazine. Krasnow also served as an airbrush instructor at the Summer Arts Institute of Visiting Artists in Gunnison, Colorado. After a two-year battle with cancer, Krasnow passed away on November 15, 2000.


Guest-curated by Natasha Krasnow, Michail’s daughter, this retrospective is a celebration of his talent, intellect, and (sometimes perplexing) insights. The drawings and paintings on exhibit, collected and lovingly loaned by many of Krasnow’s friends and family, display his undeniable skill and distinct personality. Krasnow was well-known within the Grand Valley artistic community and was no stranger to The Art Center. His art and character are remembered by his classmates, students, colleagues, and friends. When asked, “How are you doing, Misha?” his answer was invariable: “Relatively,” he would reply.

Comments are closed here.