Romas Viesulas (Veselauskas)

(1918 - 1986)


Romas Viesulas was born in 1918 in Gerdainiai (Latvia). After studies in Latvian and Lithuanian Universities, in 1944 he fled from the advancing Red Army to the West, where he received his formal art education. He is a graduate of Ecole des Arts et Metiers, Freiburg i. Br., Germany, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts of Paris. In 1951 Romas Viesulas came to the United States and joined the most active and significant current of American graphic art, maintaining, however, his own creative individuality. His achievements and recognition since are indeed impressive. To name just a few facts, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship twice (in 1958 and 1964); his works have been acquired by such institutions as Museum of Modem Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, Art Institute of Chicago, Musee d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva (Switzerland), Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, Academy of Sciences in Vilnius (Lithuania), Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura (Japan), and others; he has exhibited throughout the world, including France, Italy, Yugoslavia, England, Mexico, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere. He died in 1986 in Rome. In 1996 he was reburied in Antakalnis cemetery in Vilnius.


Romas Viesulas is capable of expression in universal language. It is significant that in this disturbed epoch of artificial "discoveries", his work is characterized by innate truth, permanence, and unceasing but systematic quest for what is new and personally important to the artist. As all modern painting, the art of Romas Viesulas is international in nature, even though his intellectual content in great part stems from Lithuanian culture. The most characteristic feature of his work is a search for a unique painting quality in graphic art. Perhaps it is for this reason that lithography became his most favoured medium. Although he was a master of other graphic techniques (such as xylography, metal engraving, and etching) in lithography.