Romas Viesulas

Interviews by Romas Viesulas

The best books on Albrecht Dürer, recommended by Ulinka Rublack

Albrecht Dürer was the archetype of the Renaissance man, but also the prototypical artist-merchant, and very much a man of the world, says historian Ulinka Rublack. Dürer’s self-portraits, particularly the Christ-like image from 1500, have branded him as art history’s ultimate narcissist, but this is a view that does justice to neither his work nor to the complex and conflicted creative individual that he was, she says. She recommends books on Dürer’s Renaissance that reveal a much more nuanced artist and a richer sense of the times in which he lived and created.

The best books on Modern British Painting, recommended by Chris Stephens

Artists the world over interpreted Modernism in very distinctive ways, explains the expert curator Chris Stephens. In Britain, painters like David Hockney and Francis Bacon worked in transatlantic dialogue with their contemporaries in the US, producing “English-accented echoes.” Here, Stephens selects five of the best books on Modern British painting that illuminate its place within a global movement.

The best books on Surfing, recommended by Gerry Lopez

The second best thing about surfing is talking about it afterward. Surf legend Gerry ‘Mr Pipeline’ Lopez’s collection of surfing stories Surf is Where You Find It, now out in its third edition, relates some of the epic waves he’s encountered, and the legendary individuals he met along the way in a lifetime’s pursuit of the glide on the ocean and on the land. Here, he picks five books on surfing by friends and heroes who have found lessons in surfing about what it means to live life well.

The best books on Design, recommended by Kevin G. Bethune

When we think of design, we often think of objects, typefaces and graphic art. In fact, Kevin G. Bethune argues, design is an essential human activity that goes far beyond that to encompass designing institutions and social structures, a continuum that extends from the material world to our civic existence and the ways in which we collaborate to solve problems and achieve collective ends.

The best books on Wanderlust, recommended by Matthew Brookes & Zack Raffin

What does it mean to live wild and young and free? We asked the authors of a photography book on surf van culture along the California coast—”a story of youth choosing to follow their dreams, living out of vans, existing for surf and travel and freedom, and always chasing the best waves”—for references that help answer this question. Wanderlust can be a philosophy for life, as these books illustrate beautifully.

The best books on Understanding the Nude, recommended by Annebella Pollen

Nudity is not the same as the nude. Nor is nudity the same as nudism, but they tend to overlap quite a lot in people’s minds. Annebella Pollen, an authority on the many varied forms of British nudism in the twentieth century shares key influences on her own research to help us unpack (or undress?) the idea of nudity in western culture, showing the many ways in which nakedness can be a form of dress.