Mikhail Sergeevich Kazansky

Mikhail Sergeevich Kazansky

1932 —2003

Mikhail Kazansky - an artist relatively unknown to the general public, which is an absolute injustice, considering how deep, rich, both in terms of colour and concepts, and spontaneous are his paintings. The artist's work can be mainly attributed to the genres of landscape, everyday scenes of life, and still life.

Kazansky was born in Moscow in 1932. After graduating from the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow in 1953, he entered the I. Repin St. Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture In 1955. Kazansky was fortunate enough to have a great mentor such as B. V. Ioganson, the President of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, who personally asked to enlist Kazansky as one of his students. Thanks to the Institute of Surikov and the Repin Institute, Kazansky had an opportunity to meet two of his future great friends for life, a distinguished Armenian artist Minas Avetisyan, and a famous nonconformist Oleg Tselkov. Kazansky graduated from the Institute in 1960 with a highly successful and subsequently repeatedly published in various magazines, diploma work 'On a White Night'. This atmospheric, airy, buoyant theme, which Stanislav Aydinyan poetically called 'the motive of brides', was appearing in the artist's work again and again as a vibrant, lively beacon illuminating way forward through the realities of life.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Kazansky, who was still in a constant artistic search of his own path, unintentionally gathered a lot of young, eager for knowledge and greatly admiring his talent, artists. Thus, being a recent art graduate himself, Kazansky has become a teacher and mentor for many. In 1964 Kazansky joined the Union of Soviet Artists. Despite the fact that the artist was exhibiting his work since 1957, his first solo exhibitions were held only in 1988 in Moscow and Leningrad. Ayudinyan argues that one of the most prominent features of Kazansky's work is its contemplative quality. Kazansky himself stated that he drew inspiration from the realities of life and there is nothing artificial, imposed, or invented by himself in his paintings. However, Kazansky did not just automatically copy the world around him how our, human eyes see it. His paintings cannot be compared with the photographic image. His works are carefully thought out. They are impressions of his perceptions of reality, as the artist knew exactly what he wanted to show and why, thus, infusing his paintings with symbolism and depth. The eloquence of colouring strangely combines at the same time with restraint, almost minimal, colour palette, which is especially present in the later works. Kazansky claimed that it relates the viewer back to the origins of Russian art and its tradition, to the ancient period, when icon painting prevailed.

Together with a group of artists, Kazansky was invited to Luxembourg in 1991 by the Centre of Robert Schuman to paint there for several years. He participated in the exhibition in Switzerland in 1993. Kazansky's works were presented at Christie's auction in London. Most of his life the artist lived and worked in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region. He died in 2003. Kazansky's paintings can be found in the Tretyakov Gallery, as well as in other museums and private collections in Russia, Western Europe and America.

Bibliography: Михаил Казанский - в творчестве… - Персональный сайт Станислава Айдиняна. Available at: