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Mauricio Lasansky

(b. 1914)

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(1914– ).

Printmaker and draftsman. Known for technically virtuosic, figural intaglio prints, he also drew much attention for his sequence of monumental Nazi Drawings (1961–66, 1971) related to the Holocaust. Following in the tradition of Goya and Picasso in lamenting the brutality of war, the thirty individual drawings and one triptych portray individual life-size and larger figures suggestive of perpetrators, victims, and the personification of death. Born in Buenos Aires, where he trained in fine arts, Lasansky arrived in the United States in 1943 and became an American citizen in 1952. He worked at Atelier 17 in New York before moving in 1945 to Iowa City. There he established the print workshop at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa), soon a leading center for the medium. Since his retirement in 1984, he has continued to work in Iowa City. Lasansky's imagery has centered on the enigma of the human condition, especially as revealed through suffering and brutality. During the 1940s and 1950s, he favored complex compositions, often tinged with surrealism, in rich tones of black and white. Later he preferred simpler depictions of individuals, singly or in small groups, on a larger scale, while his technique broadened to include complex color printing. Three sons who became artists earned MFA degrees at the University of Iowa. William Lasansky (1938– ), a sculptor, was born in Argentina. He taught from 1968 until his retirement in 2006 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He also maintains a home and studio in Vinalhaven, Maine. He has produced cast and welded, as well as carved stone sculptures in both figurative and abstract styles. Leonardo Lasansky (1946– ), born in Iowa City, has followed his father as an intaglio printmaker and draftsman working with figurative imagery. Since 1972 he has served on the faculty of Hamline University in St. Paul. Also born in Iowa City, where he continues to reside, painter Tomas Lasansky (1957– ) specializes in images related to the Indians of the American Southwest and their culture.

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