Misha Reznikoff was born in Ukraine in 1905. During the Russian Revolution in 1918 he served as the youngest communication officer. In 1921 immigrated with his family to the United States and settled in Rhode Island.
At the age of 22 Misha enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design where he won a three year scholarship sponsored by S.J Perelman. During this period he meets his long time friend, Arshile Gorky. Their friendship lasts till Gorky’s death in 1948. In the early 30’s he moved to New York where he became introduced to a New York’s generation of the painters. Through the early 30’s he worked as an art instructor at many institutions including Art Students League, Miss Halls School, Pittsfield, MA, and The New School for Social Research.
In 1935 he joins the WPA and socializes with Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Milton Avery, Milton Resnick and Diego Rivera. In 1940-43 he was sent to Brazil to work on a program initiated by Roosevelt Administration promoting American goodwill and art through Latin America. Upon his return to New York, he continued to lecture at NSSR and strengthened his ties with the Abstract Expressionist movement. His interest in music also drew
He exhibited at many galleries and his paintings are in collections of the:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Louis Armstrong – A Cultural Legacy, Smithsonian Institution
The Pinacoteca – State Museum of Sao Paulo
Espaco Cultura Dos Correios, Rio de Janeiro
References to Misha Reznikoff can also be found in books:
Hayden Herrera, Arshile Gorky, Jonathan D. Lippincott, Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003
Nouritza Matossian, Black Angel: A Life of Arshile Gorky, Overlook Press, 2000
Robert M. Levine, Brazilian Photography of Genevieve Naylor, Duke University Press, 1998
Stevens, Mark and Swan, Annalyn, de Kooning: An American Master, Knopft, 2004
Deborah Solomon, Jackson Pollock: A Biography, Cooper Square Press, 1994
Harold Rosenberg, Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea, 1962