Joe Lasker, 'The Last Realist,' at Toronto's Liss Gallery, Nov. 5-19

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Literally the “last realist,” artist Joe Lasker is, at 92, the only living member of the 48 outstanding realists—including Edward Hopper, John Sloan and Raphael Soyer—who wrote for Reality, the mid-Fifties polemical journal that argued against abstract art.

“We are thrilled to be showing the first exhibit of Joe Lasker’s art in Canada,” says Brian Liss, President of Toronto’s Liss Gallery. “I don’t know anyone else who’s brought that level of artist to Toronto.”

Literally the “last realist,” painter Joe Lasker is, at 92, the only living member of the 48 outstanding realists—including Edward Hopper, John Sloan and Raphael Soyer—who wrote for Reality, the mid-Fifties polemical journal that argued against non-representational art.

“At this point, Joe Lasker is American history,” says Dr. Audrey Ushenko, Professor of Art and Art History, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. “He is a major narrative American realist who has played a vital role in the continuation and development of the country’s distinctive brand of narrative realism.”

The oil paintings and watercolours depict cityscapes, landscapes, portraits, fantasies, interiors, seascapes and still lifes. Lasker’s works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Baltimore Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum, Tel Aviv Museum and dozens of other museums.

His many prizes include Prix de Rome and Guggenheim Fellowships and numerous awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the National Academy of Design (where he is a National Academician and the former Secretary).

Lasker has remained faithful to Reality’s mission. “I feel that much of American art of the last 60 years has something missing, namely narrative,” Lasker says. “Without narrative there would be little left of the art of the Old Masters, of 20th-century expressionism and surrealism. There would be no Guernica by Picasso and little left of his prints.”

"This artist has a special way of seeing figures and landscape….There is a psychological warmth and penetration in the work… especially stimulating canvasses… marvelously effective... a tour de force."— The New York Times

"Extraordinary technique, engaging wit…Lasker's riffs on art history, life and convention are delivered with refreshing charm, irony and skill....pictures that veil social commentary within a romantic realism.”— Art News

For more information and images on Joe Lasker, please visit http://www.joelasker.com. A high-definition documentary video by filmmaker Pablo Frasconi of Joe Lasker, showing him at work in his studio and in interviews, is available for download:

Liss Gallery, established in 1983 and located in Toronto’s Yorkville district, focuses on contemporary Canadian and international art. The gallery features original paintings, sculpture, photography and works on paper including limited-edition prints. Our services include custom framing, corporate art consulting and a bridal registry. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 pm.
Visit us at http://www.lissgallery.com.

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David Lasker
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