Signed (at lower right): Jim Lesko
This screen print is part of a series titled For Clyfford Still that Lesko created in 2018. One can see the influence of the Bauhaus artists he admired and studied with. While Clyfford Still’s work doesn’t have the hard edge abstraction of the Bauhaus artists like Albers and Moholy-Nagy, Still was able to make his colors vibrate. Lesko achieves this same feat in this entire set of prints.
At the end of the 1950’s Lesko recalls that traveling past the steel mills on his way to his art classes at Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) – now Carnegie Mellon University – fired his imagination and began his love affair with steel and the violent process used to make it. He began creating sculptures from steel scrap. Around this time, Lesko also became interested in Industrial Design. Many former Bauhaus members were on the faculty including Josef Albers, Walter Gropius and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy.
Lesko’s education was interrupted by a three-year stint in the US Army. By 1963, he was back at CIT and by 1965 after receiving his BFA, Lesko started work at the Corporate Design Center, Westinghouse Electric Corporation as an Industrial Designer. It was a heady time with design legends Charles Eames, Buckminster Fuller and Eliot Noyes consulting and lecturing there. Jim’s most important project during his Westinghouse years was the Tampa Airport Transit Vehicle which continues to operate to this day.
After receiving his MA at Carnegie Mellon, Lesko began his teaching career in the Industrial Design Program at Purdue University. He went on work in the Industrial Design program at the University of Cincinnati and then at Pratt Institute in New York City. More recently Lesko served as the Head of Art & Design at University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT. Now retired, Lesko spends his time painting, printmaking and sculpting while listening to classical music, his other passion.