Lack was born in 1946 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and gained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University in 1967, followed by a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Universidad de Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in 1969. He lives and works in Salem, New York, and is the father of Asher Lack, front-man of the band Ravens & Chimes.
Although he also produces drawings and sculpture, his primary medium is painting; he specializes in American scenes (urban, cultural and landscapes) in a style that has been described as Neo-Expressionist. His art has won a number of awards and residencies. He was artist in residence at Ancienne Manufacture Royale, Limoges, and Banff Institute of the Arts in 1988, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan in 1989, and Connecticut College and Skidmore College in 1999. He received awards in the “Painting” category from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987 and 1993, and the Canada Council for the Arts in 1991.
The best-known films in which he featured are Scanners in 1981 and Dead Ringers in 1988, but he has also featured in cameo roles and independent films. Credits include The Rubber Gun (1978, which he also co-wrote with Allan Moyle, winning Genie Awards for both Performance and Screenplay); Head On (aka Deadly Passion, 1980); Perfect Strangers; and All the Vermeers in New York (1990).
Medium: Painting, drawing, sculpture
“More than decoration, Painting, like Film, can be a form of communication. Each painting I do is a small drama. The Open Studio event gives me the opportunity to share these works outside the gallery and museum context and I look forward to the event every two years.”
“I admire the traditions of the European figuration as well as its eventual evolution into the Pop sensibility of the past century. I try to infuse my work with that integrity, the consideration of form coupled with the intensity of today’s industrial pigmentation.”
“Our relationship as individuals to the media portrayal of the world around us is a major source of my imagery. The quiet beauty and idealism of those moments which we frequently take for granted in passing, these, I ‘freeze frame’, and imbue with the same iconographic optimism that Warhol did with depictions of commercial products and the glamour of celebrity. Even in my more confrontational paintings there is the tasteful existential distance that turns drama into motif.”