Vija Celmins, Starfield, 2010
Vija Celmins (b. 1938) is an American-Latvian artist known for her photorealistic works of organic phenomena, such as clouds, ocean waves, star-studded night skies and spiderwebs, which she calls “redescriptions.” After graduating with an M.F.A. from the University of California in Los Angeles art program in 1965, Celmins rejected the dominant ideology of formalist abstraction, choosing instead to focus on her own precise, idiosyncratic representations of nature in drawings, prints and paintings. Celmins imitates the three-dimensional physicality of the terrains that she depicts through carefully textural mark-making, producing a sense of documentary authenticity arguably greater than that of a photograph. Each painstakingly wrought work can take years to make.
Celmins has been the subject of over forty significant solo exhibitions since 1965, most recently Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory at the Met Breuer (2019-2020). Other major retrospectives include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles Country Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Menil Collection, Houston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1996 and received a MacArthur fellowship in 1997. Her work is held in numerous museum collections, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
This work is number 18 from an edition of 35, plus artist's proofs.
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