Vladimir P. Krantz- Master of the Lyrical Landscapekrantz
Through January 20, 2016
 
The lyrical landscape is the genre of painting that evokes shared feeling in every Russian, especially if it is done in such brilliant manner as that of Vladimir Krantz. Life itself made Krantz an artist. He was lucky not to be paint in an official formal manner, glorifying the socialist labor. The artist simply polished his brushwork, developed his coloring working hard,  while nevertheless staying an amateur for the bureaucrats of the Soviet art. Being an "amateur" at that time meant to be free in choice to paint landscapes - the genre that was not greeted by the authorities. The most preferable works were large multi-figural paintings depicting social life or historical events.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The November"
19" x 27", 1974, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir Pavlovich Krantz was born in Mozdok, Chechnya in 1913. His mother's origin was Cossack, and his father came from nobility. His ancestor, German born Von Rosen Krantz, was sent in exile to the Caucasus after the December uprising in Petersburg in 1825.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The First Green Leaves"
19" x 27",1975, Oil on Board, $5,500

The artist showed his talent in early years when he studied at the atelier of a local painter, A. Turbin. After finishing the secondary school he worked as a draftsman and got a recommendation to the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (Petersburg). Just before the entrance exams V. Krantz showed his sketches to the rector of the Academy, a prominent Soviet artist Isaak Brodsky and met with his approval. 

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Mushroom Places"
19" x 27", 1982, Oil on Board, $5,500

Unfortunately, the serious disease typhoid prevented him from entering the Academy that year. And in 1935 he successfully passed the exams to the Architectural Faculty of the Civil Engineering Institute in 1940.  After graduating he worked as an artist-decorator, and painted in oils independently.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Lilacs"
19" x 27", 1968, Oil on Board, $5,500

After World War II he returned to his work in the Painting and Design Group of Enterprises in Leningrad and perfected his art at the atelier of S. Nevelstein. He set himself high standards and purposefully painted from nature again and again. One of his most favorite places was the ancient Russian town of Staraja Ladoga in the Petersburg Region. The pictures painted there gained high aclaim during the first Krantz one-man show in 1967. In 1973 he joined the Russian Artists' Union, thus giving up the work of decorator.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "In the Park"
19" x 27", 1964, Oil on Board, $5,500

Success did not come V. Krantz's way easily. His path to success was long and taxing, and only in the 1970's his art was recognized by the public. The Japanese collector Yoko Nakamura acquired a series of his landscapes, and the artist soon became well known abroad.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Spring Meadow"
19" x 27", 1978, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir Krantz painted the modest beauty of Russian forest and seascapes in the Crimea, working at the Academic Dacha. There he got acquainted with many colleagues who enriched his mental outlook. Among them was a famous Soviet painter, academician Zagonek, who once presented Krantz his sketch with an inscription: "To the student surpassing the teacher." They worked together on the same motive and Krantz's landscape was voted the best.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The April"
19" x 27" 1975, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir Krantz considered Nature to be the main teacher. None of the painters greatly influenced the artist's manner.  His path was directed mainly by his own inward intuition and original talent. He preferred painting "ala prima," finishing his landscape in one day. Using photos was the common practice of such great masters as Vrubel and Degas, and Krantz following in their example. He studied and gave a more precise definition to the juxtaposition of color, light and shade. He never went down to the rough naturalism or unwarranted detailing both in drawing and coloring.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "At the Msta Dam"
19"x 27", 1975, Oil on Board, $5,500

Krantz intentionally denied the fleeting effects so typical of the Impressionists and art of the 20th Century. He saw the integrity and calm in the landscape, which should represent the stability and firmness of being.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Spring Landscape"
19" x 27", 1976, Oil on Board $5,500

Vladimir Krantz was a real master of the lyrical landscape. His art is immediately recognizable in any gallery neighborhood as it rivets the eye by the romantic mood and a masterful technique. It gives the spectator an opportunity to enter the truthfully painted atmosphere of the landscape, to share the artist's admiration. The good taste, a sense of rhythm together with following nature without copying, brings a wholeness and completeness to his fine landscapes.


Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Spring Meadow"
19" x 27", 1978, Oil on Board, $5,500

Whatever landscape of Russia is painted by the artist, all his landscapes are distinguished by softness of the brush and gentle musical harmony of colors. One would call recherche nocturnes such his canvases as "Thaw," "The Coming of the Spring," "The Breath of the Spring," "The Merry May" and other paintings. Water is one of the most important components almost in all landscapes of the painter. He feels the world in a harmony of three elements - heaven, water and earth. And due to this he moves from the instant and from the trembling of the moment towards the existential state of nature and impresses a lasting state, the "eternal beauty" according to Pushkin.

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Baikal Lake. The Angara River"
19" x 27", 1986, Oil on Cardboard, $5,500

Vladimir P. Krantz, "By Volkhov River"
19" x 27", 1968, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The Volkhov"
19" x 27", 1969, Oil on Cardboard, $5,500

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The May on the Tver Land"
19" x 27", 1975, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir P. Krantz, "The April"
19"x 27", 1974, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir P. Krantz, "Valaam-The Cathedral"
19"x 27", 1987, Oil on Board, $5,500

Vladimir Pavlovich Krantz, "The River in the Urals"
19"x 27", 1982, Oil on Board, $5,500

"I visited Mr Krantz at his studio in St. Petersburg shortly before his death in 2003.  While he was close to blind and very weak, he lit up as I picked up paintings one-by-one and asked him if he could remember painting the particular painting.  Although he was slumped and ill, as I held up the painting, he seemed to come to life as he animatedly described each painting.  Vivid with detail, excitement and overwhelming enthusiasm, he described the place and the people.  It was almost as if he had painted the work that afternoon.  For a few brief moments, the artist emerged and reveled in his life and his work.  As we reached the end of the visit, he returned to his illness". -  Jim Dabakis

Vladimir Pavlovich Krantz, (1913-2003)
Mozdok, Northern Caucasia
 
Destinies of artists take different shapes, even if all of them are equally gifted in the youth. Some of them have to pass a way several decades to find their final profession. Vladimir Pavlovich Krantz is one of such artists. By his age (he was born in 1913) he belongs to the masters of the elder generation, while by his artistic activity and the start of his work which fell on the 1970's-1990's Krantz can be included in the generation of young talents of the end of the 20th century. His first participation in exhibitions is dated "1959."
   
Here are the main marks of the artist's life. Being a descendant of a nobleman and Decembrist von Rosen-Krantz who had been exiled to the Caucasus for participation in the rising of 1825 against Emperor Nickolas I, he realized quite early his abilities and started his studies at a studio. His gift was notice and in 1934 he was sent to Leningrad for entering the Academy of Arts. However, because of a disease, in the following year he found himself at the Architectural Department of the Civil Engineering Institute in Leningrad. No sooner had he received the Degree of the Architect, the war with the German fascism (1941-1945) started. He registered as a volunteer to the front, but was selected for the course at the Academy of Air Force and he went to the remote Tajikistan to teach at a school of aircraft mechanics. After the war, working in the restoration of the destroyed Leningrad as an architect, he studied at the artistic studio of S. Nevelshtein, a staunch follower of the realistic traditions. Regular classes at the Houses of Creative Work "Academic Dacha" and "Old Ladoga" also facilitated his professional growth. The first work with which the painter took part in the exhibition of 1959 was a small landscape, "After Rain." It is not by chance that he keeps it with care, as the artist found his way with it and announced himself as a landscape painter once and for all. Since then, he has been painting the Russian nature persistently and forgetting about himself for over 3 decades, having created several hundred works.

In 1940 Vladimir Krantz graduated from Architectural department of Leningrad Building Institute.
Since 1957 he has participated in Art Exhibitions.
 
Joined the LOSKH (Leningrad Union of Artists of the RSFSR) in 1972.
Member of LCRAU since 1972.
Modern Soviet painting exhibition. Gekkoso Gallery. Tokyo, 1977. 
Ecole de Saint-Petersburg. Drouot Richelieu. 13 Mars. Paris, 1992.
Personal Exhibitions in Leningrad (1964, 1977, 1991) and St. Petersburg (1992, 1995, 2002).
Paintings by Vladimir KRANTZ are in Art museums and private collections in the Russia, USA, Japan, Germany, and throughout the world.
   
Vladimir Krantz, was born 17 February 1913 in Mozdok, Northern Caucus.
In 1940 V. Krantz graduated from the Architectural department of Leningrad Building Institute.
Began exhibiting in 1957.
A member of the LCRAU since 1972.
Noted as a landscape painter.
Personal exhibitions in Leningrad (1964, 1977, 1991, 1992, 1995).
Paintings by Vladimir KRANTZ are in Art museums and private collections in the Russia and throughout the world.
  
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Modern Soviet painting exhibition. Gekkoso Gallery. Tokyo, 1977. Ecole de Saint-Petersburg. Drouot Richelieu. 13 Mars 1992. Paris, 1992.

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