“Mauricio Lasansky: Portrait from the Permanent Collection" at the Muscatine Art Center -- September 21 through January 28.

Exhibit: Thursday, January 21, through Sunday, January 28

Reception: Sunday, September 24, 1:30 p.m.

Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine IA

Stunning works by an Argentine-American artist and educator revered for his advanced techniques in intaglio printmaking will be celebrated at the Muscatine Art Center from September 21 through January 28, with Mauricio Lasansky: Portrait from the Permanent Collection honoring the man who established the school of printmaking at the University of Iowa, which offered the first Master of Fine Arts program in the field in the United States.

Lasansky, who passed away in 2012, was born on October 12, 1914 in Buenos Aires, where his father worked as a banknote engraver. At the age of 19, he began to study painting, sculpture, and printmaking at the Escuela Superior of Bellas Artes (Superior School of Fine Arts), Buenos Aires. In 1943, Lasansky came to the United States on a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year studying the print collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Four years later, he was appointed lecturer in printmaking at the University of Iowa, where he established the first Master of Fine Arts in printmaking program in the country, leading to Time magazine, in 1961, labeling the U of I the "printmaking capital of the United States."

As a printmaker, Lasansky was known for the grand scale of his images, his vivid color, and the complex layering of multiple print techniques, including engraving, etching, lithography, drypoint, electric stippling and aquatint, in a single work. In the 1970s, after two decades of work that focused on the horrors of Nazi Germany, Lasansky began working on the eight images that comprise The Kaddish Series. While still very much concerned with the Holocaust, The Kaddish Series focuses on its aftermath and the ways those who survived deal with the experience. One part of the Kaddish prayer, which is often recited as part of Jewish funeral services, is a request for peace, and the images in this series reveal the artist's belief that finding even a small amount of peace on this earth often comes at a terrible price.

Each of the eight Kaddish prints includes a number from 6,102,301 to 6,102,308, representing the number of Jewish victims of the Nazis, and each image also includes a dove, the universal symbol of peace. The Kaddish Series was purchased directly from the artist by the Muscatine Art Center in 1979, and is part of collection that includes 25 of his prints. Lasansky was one of the few modern artists who limited their work almost exclusively to the graphic media. Due to his early contributions in the development of graphic techniques and his dedication to teaching printmaking, Lasansky is considered to be a forerunner in the evolution of printmaking as a critical art form and is internationally recognized, including by Sotheby's, as one of the "fathers" of 20th Century American printmaking.

An artist reception for both Mauricio Lasansky: Portrait from the Permanent Collection (on display September 21 through January 28) and Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti: The Man Filled with Music (September 21 through February 18) will take place on September 24 at 1:30 p.m., with music by the Bill Anson Group starting at 1:30 p.m. and the Mad Creek Mudcats – Fasanelli-Cawelti’s former bandmates – at 3:30 p.m. The performances will take place outside in the E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park located below the Art Center's Expressive Spirit sculpture, and visitors should bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of inclement weather, the performances will be held in the gallery; admission is free, and no reservations are required.

Regular gallery hours Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Donations are appreciated, and more information is available by calling (563)263-8282 and visiting MuscatineArtCenter.org.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher