Printmaker and educator Romas Viesulas (1918-1986) holds a preeminent place in the history of American printmaking. Beginning his artistic career in the late 1940s as an exile from war, he ultimately radicalized the medium by emphasizing the print as an abstract form of expression and printmaking as both a craft and an aesthetic end in itself. Viesulas taught at Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania and in Rome for 25 years while pioneering graphic techniques and becoming recognized as one of the foremost American printmakers of his generation. Exploring associations between image and sound, testing the medium’s limits through inkless reliefs and monumental prints on fabric, Viesulas created a unique oeuvre that forms part of the permanent collections of the world’s most prestigious museums. His vision and methods continue to inspire and instruct present and future generations of printmakers.
1918 Born in Lasai, Lithuania (current Latvia, near Daugavpils)
1949 Ecole des Arts et Metiers, Freiburg Germany
1950 Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris France
1956 Museum of Modern Art, NY - Recent Drawings, group exhibit
1958 Guggenheim Fellowship - created series of lithographs "Dainos", Paris, France
1960 Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Los Angeles, CA - first artist in residence. Created lithograph portfolio “Toro Desconcido”
1962 Tiffany Fellowship; created series of lithographs "Hew"
1964 Guggenheim Fellowship; Visiting Artist, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy; created two-part series of prints "Notes on Image and Sound" - part I lithographs, part II inkless reliefs.
1966 Whitney Biennial of Contemporary American Art
1967 Prints of Two Worlds, group exhibit Philadelphia Art Museum
1969 Guggenheim Fellowship: created series of inkless reliefs "Raudos" and monumental prints on fabric, Rome, Italy
1970 Artist in Residence at the US Pavilion, 35th Venice Biennial, Italy; created series of lithographs "Overpass"
1976 Thirty Years of American Printmaking at the Brooklyn Museum
1977 American Prints of the Twentieth Century at the Philadelphia Museum
1979 Visiting Artist, American Academy in Rome, Rome Italy; created series of lithographs "Useless Things - R30”
1986 Died in Rome, Italy
Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Fort Worth Art Center, TX
Hammer Museum, CA
Harvard University Library, MA
Library of Congress Washington DC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
National Gallery of Lithuania, Vilnius
National Gallery Washington DC
New York Public Library, NY
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Print Club of Philadelphia, PA
Seattle Art Museum, WA
Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
Walker Art Center, MN