|John Lysak grew up and attended high school and college in Olympia Washington. John graduated from the Evergreen State College where he spent much of his time in the printmaking studios. Evergreen is an alternative liberal arts college with an excellent reputation. John taught printmaking briefly at Evergreen before deciding that he should pursue his MFA degree. John received his M.F.A. degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1988. He then moved back to the Northwest where he formed his artistic style and career. He has spent much of his time in various teaching positions, and as a master printer at Stone Press Editions in Seattle Washington. As a master printmaker, John collaborated with a number of well-known artists to help them produce limited edition fine art prints. Since 1995, John has been an Associate Professor of printmaking at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. John is the Art Department Graduate Program Head. John and his colleague Franz Spohn formed Egress Press and Research in 1998. He is currently the director of Egress Press and Research. At Egress Press, John has continued to work with artist to make prints. Egress Press and Research is a fine art publishing and research component of the printmaking studio at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Egress Press and Research Website: http://www.egresspress.org
Some of the artists that John has worked with over the years include: Jacob Lawrence, Robert Bateman, Italo Scanga, Sam Gilliam, Rolf Julius, John Hitchcock, Jenny Schmidt, Paul Horiuchi, Roy Thomas, Patty Bellan/Gillen, Ayanah Moor, and many others.
As an artist John has worked extensively in print media and on paper as his medium of choice. John's artwork is created using a wide variety of print mediums and processes. Many of his prints are not editioned as is common in printmaking. Instead John makes much of his work as unique impressions that use printmaking techniques to develop an image over time. Often many print mediums are used in the same print.
One body of his work can be described as layered forms of narrative iconography. Abstract formalist imagery using symbols to suggest a layering of content and mark making is one approach he uses. Another is political / social imagery that is mostly semi-narrative and leans towards metaphorical representation. His work links layers of drawn and appropriated images. His images record his thoughts and visual decisions and represent an attempt to document his unique direction in artistic form and social comment.
When John is not working on complex layered imagery he works in the medium of monotype. John is drawn to monotype for its spontaneity and intuitive capacity. He also has always loved the rich ink saturation available in this medium. The mysterious quality of dense black afford by this simple process has brought John back to this medium for over twenty years. These images are drawn directly on a metal plate and the ink is transferred to the paper in an intaglio press. These images are created using a variety of sources for inspiration. When monoprinting, John often works with models and produces printed images from life. Sometimes the work is drawn from contemporary or vintage photographs or right out of John’s imagination.
John lives in Cambridge Springs Pennsylvania with his wife, Helen Lazara. John exhibits his work regularly in the Northwest and often now in Pennsylvania. In Washington state John’s work is represented by the Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle Washington.
Lisa Harris Gallery website: http://www.lisaharrisgallery.com
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