Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


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Updated March 7

Posted Dec. 16


Phil McNeely
Posted Jan. 105 2

Olaf Krassnitzky

Olaf Krassnitzky was born in 1942 in Brno, the capital city of Moravia in the eastern portion of today’s Czech Republic and the homeland of Sigmund Freud and Gregor Mendel.

He grew up in Vienna, Austria. His father, Kay (Otto) Krassnitzky, studied architecture in Moravia, and after the war, settled in Salzburg, Austria, as a painter and graphic artist.

Kay Krassnitzky’s work can be found in several Austrian and German public and private collections, in several public buildings including the Small Opera House of the Salzburg Music Festival, and in the Albertina in Vienna, one of the world’s largest graphics collections.

Olaf is a self-taught artist, with no formal education in art, except three evening courses which he took at Central Tech in Toronto, about 20 years ago.

For most of his life, he studied and worked in various fields of science and management. But along the way, he kept up an interest in painting and drawing. In this, he was strongly influenced by his father’s work.

A few hundred of Olaf’s paintings and drawings were either sold or given away to private collectors in Austria, Germany and Canada, including several portraits and other commissioned work.

Apart from his father’s work, Olaf’s main influences are Viennese artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Friedensreich Hundertwasser; also Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagal, and Max Ernst. He likes to use a range of media, such as graphite, pastel, watercolour, acrylics, oil, inks and markers, on paper, canvas, boards and ceramics. His work ranges from realism to symbolism, to the pure abstract.

Olaf has resisted being pigeon-holed by medium or style, and chooses instead to vary styles, media and content freely and often. The four examples on display here only hint at the variety which charcterizes Olaf’s art.

Over the last three years, Olaf has been painting full-time, and has exhibited in numerous group shows such as the Ottawa Fine Art Festival, the Merrickville Fine Art Festival, the Lions Club Art Show in Cobourg, and the Westport Fine Art Show. Olaf is also a member of Arteast and helps out in a volunteer capacity as Secretary of the Executive of Arteast and as Coordinator for art displays in the North Gloucester Public Library.

Samples of his work can be seen at the Bruyere Health Centre Family Clinic on 75 Bruyere St. in downtown Ottawa. The show is entitled “Art: Healing by Connecting Experiences and Imagination” and can be viewed until March 17.

A selection of nude drawings and paintings, as well exmples of his portraits in oil and pastel will be on display at Galleriart on 111 York St. from February 28 to March 14. A combination of the two shows, augmented with a selection of local landscapes and a small retrospective will be shown at the Centrum Gallery on the second floor of the Orleans Client Service Centre at 255 Centrum Blvd., between April 26 and May 31.

Olaf can be reached by e-mail at scilines@on.aibn.com. His website is currently under reconstruction but can be viewed at www.symbolicecoart.com.


View examples of Olaf Krassnitsky's work

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