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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 20th century: The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory
Misha Reznikoff

Misha Reznikoff

(born Kabilia, Russia 1905 -- died New York City 1971)

Misha Reznikoff grew up in the town of Kabilia, Russia. He described his life there as a nightmare, and based many of his early paintings on the “frightening misery” that he experienced. He came to America in 1921 and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Art Students League, where he became friends with the painter Stuart Davis. Reznikoff worked for the Public Works of Art Project in New York and in 1941 was sent to Brazil as part of the State Department’s “Good Neighbor” policy. He loved jazz music and held a longtime position on a jazz program on NBC, sketching the musicians as they played. (Misha Reznikoff, Paintings from the 1930s and 1940s, Exhibition Catalogue, Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts, 1992)

Image Credits: Photograph by Genevieve Naylor.