Mauricio Lasansky was born in 1914 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His father was a banknote engraver. Lasansky is one of the few modern artists who have limited their works almost solely to the graphic media. In 1936, he had already become director of the Free Fine Arts School in Villa Maria, Cordoba, Argentina.
Lasansky's love for printmaking, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded to him in 1943, brought him to the United States, where he studied the print collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This opportunity afforded him a wealth of knowledge about prints and printmakers and also exposed him and his work to several European masters who had fled to the United States during wartimes. By 1952, Lasansky had become an American citizen with a great deal of recognition, prizes, awards, and an impressive line of exhibitions.
During the 1940s, the Works Progress Administration had helped to revive interest in printmaking as a fine art and, as a result, many artists continued to experiment in printmaking after the W.P.A. projects were discontinued. Lasansky worked extensively at Atelier 17, the printmaking workshop founded by Stanley William Hayter, formulating new methods and creating and practicing new techniques for subjects and prints. When several artists were invited to develop printshops in university art departments around the country, Lasansky was one of the first to accept the challenge. He established the printmaking workshop at the University of Iowa, which, to this day, serves as a model for many other university printmaking departments led by many of Lasansky’s former students.
Lasansky is best known for his large-scale prints, in which he utilizes multiple plates and full ranges of color. He uses a spectrum of graphic techniques, including etching, drypoint, aquatint and engraving.
Throughout his career, he has amassed a body of prints considered to be some of the most impressive in contemporary art and his contributions have helped to establish printmaking as a critical art form of the 20th century. Lasansky has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, which include a total of five Guggenheim Fellowships and six honorary Doctorate of Arts degrees. An internationally recognized artist, his work has been exhibited throughout North and South America, Europe and Russia. Although retired from the University of Iowa, he Lasansky continues to inspire other artists for his contributions of richly and intensely printed surfaces.