This etching illustrated the label for Amber Ale / Great Lakes Brewing company
Ladislav R. Hanka was born in 1952. The son of Czech immigrants in Iowa, today he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hanka divides his time between the book arts and printmaking and describes his work as a melding of spiritual discipline and fine art. He seeks his inspiration primarily in nature and in apprehending the living, conscious, ensouled nature of all being. Cycles of life, death and transfiguration include the many fish and birds, trees and rocky promontories he encounters in his home among the Great Lakes. All of these appear in graphic tableau with subtle symbolic subtexts.
Hanka’s artwork is inescapably being done in the shadow of the extractive industrial excesses of the twentieth century, yet it isn’t just a lament for what has been lost. His artwork is hopeful and carries a trace of the traditional Czech herbalism that is his ancestral heritage.
MFA in Printmaking / Western Michigan University 1981
Guest Student / Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna Austria 1979-80
MS in Zoology / Colorado State University 1979
BA in Biology / Kalamazoo College 1975
Guest Student / Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Germany 1973-73
Private Apprenticeship / Prague, Czechoslovakia: with Jindra Schmidt engraver of stamps and currency.
Hanka’s work is held in scores of major collections wordwide, including:
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Detroit Institute of Art
Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University
Princeton University Print Collection
New York Public Library
Library of Congress
Japan: MonSe Museum, Numazu & Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo
The British Library, London
The Rembrandt House, Amsterdam
Staedlik Museum, Sint Niklaas, Belgium
Modern Art Museum, Pushkin, Russia
Graphic Arts Institute and Francisco Toledo Museum, Oaxaca, Mexico
Learn more about this amazing artist at his own, vast website: ladislavhanka.com