1890 - 1960?
Theme/Style – Modernism, landscapes
Media – Oil, watercolor, sculpture
Artistic Focus – Abraham Palansky was less well-known than many of the other Los Angeles Modernists of his day with whom he exhibited. Nonetheless, he was a committed artist whose work was shown often and was consistently appreciated by critics. As one reviewer noted, “His pictures... reveal an intensely serious seeker for truth.” And, indeed, there is a feeling of rugged sincerity in his landscapes, conveying both a sense of the outer world and a deeper, more personal inner struggle.
Career Highlights –
• Abraham Palansky was born in Lodz, Poland in 1890. By the 1930s he was in the United States, living in Chicago and working as a house painter to support his wife and children.
• He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 1940 he exhibited there and also at the Illinois State Museum.
• In 1941 Palansky was included in the 45th annual exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity at the Art Institute, winning a prize for his painting of a winter street scene.
• Soon after the start of World War II Palansky moved to Los Angeles, and in 1943 he exhibited in the 23rd annual exhibition by the California Water Color Society at the Los Angeles County Museum. His work was mentioned and appreciated by critic Arthur Millier of the Los Angeles Times amid work by Jessie Arms Botke, Rex Brandt, Russell Cowles, Phil Dike, Ejnar Hansen, Robert Kennicott, Emil Kosa, Maurice Logan, Phil Paradise, Douglass Parshall, and George Post.
• Palansky would continue to exhibit with the California Water Color Society from 1943 to 1954, and in the group’s 32nd annual exhibition, held at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 1952, he won a prize for his painting “L.A. Freeway.”
• In 1944, Palansky had a one-man show of painting and sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum, all the more impressive because he simultaneously held a position painting ship hulls at Wilmington shipyard, a wartime facility at the Port of Los Angeles.
• Palansky also exhibited in Northern California, at the Oakland Art Gallery and the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1944, and at the Oakland Art Museum in 1947.
• He again exhibited at Chicago’s Art Institute in 1945, at the 49th annual exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity. His painting “Landscape” (aka “Winding Road”) won the Municipal Art League’s William H. Tuthill prize and was illustrated in the show’s catalog.
• In both 1948 and 1952 Palansky’s work was included in the “Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity” shows at the Los Angeles County Museum, and earned critical mention alongside that of Francis de Erdely, Lorser Feitelson, Vanessa Helder, Rico Lebrun, Helen Lundeberg, Sueo Serisawa, and Burr Singer.
• In 1949 Palansky participated in the California Centennials Exhibition of Art at the Los Angeles County Museum. The show comprised work by both Northern and Southern California artists including Richard Diebenkorn, Erle Loran, Knud Merrild, Alexander Nepote, Elise Seeds, Millard Sheets, and Milford Zornes. In this illustrious company, Palansky’s painting was among those singled out as “outstanding” by Los Angeles Times critic Arthur Millier.
• Palansky exhibited at the Riverside Museum in 1946, at the Pasadena Art Institute in 1952, and was active in Los Angeles until the early 1960s, after which he seems to have retired from the art world.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic
references are available upon request.
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