The Artist and His Wife Emilia Barragan, 1994
etching with 28 plates, ed. 70, 66.87 x 36.25"
This portrait tells the story of their long lives together.
Lasansky sits with his wife on his lap, his arms around her, her hand around his shoulder. The position of there heads is formal, accentuated by the ties each wears. Both figures have been executed by a single outline, and their collective form determines the picture’s space. Their presence is emphatic by a colorful flat, geometric background. Overall the inks are thin, a technique which lends a veiled sensuality to the composition. Only the artist’s head is three dimensional, picturing himself old and his wife young. Lasansky establishes an additional point of reference between his bald head and her large purple hat. The gestures and positions of both figures enliven their pose and establish a humorous psychological atmosphere which is underscored by the clothes the two wear. Lasansky is pictured wearing tennis shoes with green show strings, while his wife is shown wearing the suggestion of a feathery boa around her shoulders. Lasansky gives us the day of their marriage, December 16th, the year they met, 1930, and her age when they met. The viewers response is to ‘know’ the artist and to speculate on the relationship he shares with his wife.