Otis Tamasauskas was born in 1947 in Terschenreuth, Germany. He immigrated with his family to Canada in 1952 and was educated at the Central Technical School, Toronto and the University of Windsor, Windsor. Tamasauskas was a Master Printer and Director of Etching at Open Studio, Toronto, where he taught and did custom printing in etching and lithography for professional artists. He has taught at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, Hamilton and he is presently an assistant professor at Queen’s University, Kingston.
Tamasauskas’ works are marked by his individual philosophy about contemporary printmaking as well as by his level of sophistication in technical mastery. Traditionally, printmaking has been a commercial medium: a mechanical means to reproduce images or forms economically. Tamasauskas uses printmaking as a process of reaching a desired image rather than just as means to multiply the image. His prints are remarkable for their expression, variety and originality. Many of Tamasauskas’ prints are unique, in that only one has been produced, rather than a numbered edition.
Tamasauskas’ recognizable and engaging images, for the most part, deal with an interior landscape with a sociological and environmental presence. For the artist this subject matter is both spontaneous and expressive. These images emerge, separately or together, from the lithograph colour and transparent blends, which define them and coalesce around them giving them substance and vitality.
All of the images assume a natural presence because of their compositional format and unusual printmaking materials used. Tamasauskas extends the traditional boundaries of printmaking by transforming the image with splashes of collage and texture. A distinctive quality is found in these rich layers of colour and texture.
Otis Tamasauskas has met with critical acclaim both in Canada and abroad. He is well-known as one of Canada’s most innovative printmakers and a leading exponent of this art form.