Open Studio Gallery
noun: amalgam; plural noun: amalgams
a mixture or blend.
“a curious amalgam of the traditional and the modern”
synonyms: combination, union, merger, blend, mixture, mingling, compound, fusion, marriage, weave, coalescence, synthesis, composite, composition, concoction, amalgamation;
Amalgam celebrates Otis Tamasauskas’ career in printmaking, a medium enveloped by its own unique factors that present endless possibilities.
Tamasauskas has always been fascinated by the printmaking process: the sensuous types of papers, the character and smell of inks, the surface quality of layering colour over colour on limestone and amalgamating these parts by the pressure of the press.
Tamasauskas finds inspiration in a quote by Eugene Delacroix who referenced stone lithography in the 19th century:
When you’ve drawn and even blackened and re-blackened…When you have scraped and put in the lights, then you can lay in the black again, stumping it till you have rendered your conception… Take a few chances and you’ll discover the sorcery for yourself.
As an educator in printmaking at Queen’s University, Tamasauskas had always enjoyed watching his third-year students work on a similar project, also called Amalgam. The idea was simple: each student had to quarter a large sheet of paper and print four separate images that had no relationship to each other —the more dissonant the better. For Tamasauskas the Amalgam project allowed students to think about making visual imagery with a greater latitude, and forced them out of their comfort zone. In his own take on Amalgam, Tamasauskas engages with this concept of seemingly disparate imagery unfolding and connecting together, resulting in printmaking at its visceral best.
Otis Tamasauskas (BFA, RCA) is an internationally recognized printmaker and educator. He was born in Tirschenreuth, Germany 1947, and immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1954.
Tamasauskas graduated from the University of Windsor, Ontario in 1974, and afterwards worked at Open Studio as a printmaker, benefiting from the tutorage of Don Holman and Richard Sewell, eventually becoming the Director of intaglio and Co-director of lithography.
He has taught printmaking as a sessional instructor at McMaster University, University of Toronto Scarborough College, and for the past 33 years full-time at Queen’s University, Kingston. In 2017 he retired from teaching and is continuing to pursue his passion in printmaking.
He has participated in many numerous workshops, and is recently back from Quito, Ecuador where he demonstrated “greener and safer methods of printing stone lithography”.
Tamasauskas’ work is in many corporate and private collections, notably The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Room’s Art Gallery of Labrador, Newfoundland.