Tomas Lasansky's work can be found in the collections of the Ball State University Museum of Art (Muncie, IN), Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (Cedar Rapids, IA), Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), College of Wooster Art Museum (Wooster, OH), Figge Museum of Art (Davenport, IA), Hunter Museum of American Art (Chattanooga, TN), Iowa State University, University Museums )Ames, IA), Kalamazoo Museum of Arts (Kalamazoo, M)I, La Salle University Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA), Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, (Springfield, IL), Lowe Art Museum, University of Florida (Miami, FL), New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe, NM), Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH),
University of Richmond Museums (Richmond, VA), Vero Beach Museum of Art (Vero Beach, FL), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA), West Valley Art Museum (Surprise, AZ), United States Embassy: Riga, Latvia; Vienna, Austria; Surabaya, Indonesia; Suva, Fiji; Belgrade, Serbia.
Lasansky has exhibited his work throughout the country and has won numerous awards and honors from over 100 competitive juried exhibitions. He graduated with an MFA in 1984 at the University of Iowa but has also received a lifetime of education from his father and famous printmaker, Mauricio Lasansky.
Tomas Lasansky lives and works in his Iowa City gallery and studio. He is a nocturnal creature, devoting nearly every night and sometimes the early hours of the morning to the canvas. His clothes that have been splattered and stained with paint and ink double as pajamas. However, those who know the artist may assume that he never slept at all. He carries bags under his eyes and a head full of long unruly hair. Each of these features, which characterize Lasansky's daily appearance, is indicative of the passion he has for his craft. Lasansky is working on all occasions. The walls of his gallery are always covered with recently completed drawings, paintings and prints. Works in progress fill the studio along with numerous tubes of paint and trays full of sharpened colored pencils. Hand made paper purchased from a street market in Bangkok and even old prints and drawings are cut up and used for collage. Many of these materials are kept within arms reach of the
easel in order to maximize efficiency, and therefore the artist's ability to focus.
In the last seven years Lasansky's work has gained a significant amount of notoriety in the southwest. Original art of this quality has not been readily available since the glory days of artists such as Fritz Scholder, David Johns and Paul Pletka. Many of his latest creations are shipped or personally delivered to various galleries and museums in Arizona and New Mexico.
For over a decade Lasansky's work has been influenced by his enthusiasm for American History and the significant figures of our nation's past. In the gallery hanging next to a life-sized portrait of Geronimo or Sitting Bull one might find a drawing or print of President Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman or Picasso. "I've been truly inspired by our greatest leaders, artists and thinkers," stresses the artist. "However, I'll never be able to completely forgo the use of live models. The model is the muse that breaths new life into my work." Indeed, those who have followed Lasanskys career from the beginning have seen him return to his models time and again for inspiration and invigoration. Now, for the first time in the southwest, Lasansky offers, amongst his Native American and historical portraits, a collection of drawings dealing directly with the intimate connection between artist and model.
Carrying the Banner Proudly Forward
By Oriana Parker
A serious artist enjoys a sense of achievement when their work is compared to existing icons. Tomas Lasansky is enjoying an abundance of such comparisons lately. "Living with the paintings of T. C. Cannon, Fritz Scholder, Kevin Red Star, David Johns, and Paul Pletka has enriched our lives," says Ernest J. Schwartz, Arizona collector. "Now we have found a new star -- Tomas Lasansky -- a superb young artist who fills every inch of his canvases with mesmerizing portrait studies in brilliant color. He is a dynamic storyteller who captures the character of his Native American subjects with every stroke of his brush. The new century brings new stars to continue this great tradition and, with Tomas Lasansky, the banner will be proudly carried forward."
Museum curators and gallery owners concur with Mr. Schwartz's assessment. "Lasansky offers a powerful contemporary artistic interpretation to a subject that has been a part of our collective consciousness since George Catlin and Edward Curtis brought it to the attention of the world," stresses David Tooker, curator of the West Valley Art Museum in Surprise, Arizona. "Tomas' work is simply awesome," points out Bill Faust, owner of Faust Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona. "With the new paintings, he has emerged as a very, very serious force in Southwest art." _______________________________________________________________________
"He is a dynamic storyteller who captures the character of his Native American subjects with every stroke of his brush. The new century brings new stars to continue this great tradition and, with Tomas Lasansky, the banner will be proudly carried forward."