Discussing her early sculptural works and making specific reference to House #2 (one of her favourite pieces from the time) Celmins has said: 'I have to admit that there is a psychological component to the work.'. Her earlier work included pop sculptures and monochromatic representational paintings. Vija Celmins received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in 1996 and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 1997. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected]. Vija Celmins was born in Riga, Latvia in 1938. Vija Celmins (pronounced VEE-ya SELL-muns; Latvian: Vija Celmiņa, pronounced TSEL-meen-ya) is a Latvian American visual artist best known for photo-realistic paintings and drawings of natural environments and phenomena such as the ocean, spider webs, star fields, and rocks. Collection gallery. She once said: ‘I could never do portraits, or things that are too psychologically alive in the real world'. Celmins first became interested in representing the visible world during the early-1960s, when she began to paint the objects in her Los Angeles studio — lamps, heaters, and other overlooked fixtures of everyday life — before turning her attention to photographs found in magazines and history books. She first became known in the 1960s for her Photorealistic paintings of war scenes. I love my art. I love to paint. Based in New York City, she has been the subject of over forty solo exhibitions since 1965, and major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Celmins was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1938 and immigrated to the United States with her family in the late 1940s. In these drawings she experimented with variations in the density and tone of graphite to recreate the lights and darks of the waves. vija celminsVija's obsessive commitment to the themes of Ocean, Sky, Desert, and Galaxy, has led to a body of work rich in variations while limited in images…. While there is this cosmic sense of time in the elemental subject matter she works from, the subjects also allow the artist to explore the relationship between deep space and the flat surface of a picture. Vija Celmins. She creates depth through her intense investigation of the image and her chosen material. Retrospectives of her work have traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art; Walker Art Center; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. Charcoal can also be used to create delicate and sensitive lines and marks. In 1981, first drawn East by an invitation to teach at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, she moved permanently to New York City, wanting to be closer to the artists and art that she liked. As the artist describes it, although the image is ‘pinned down, in your mind it wants to expand out. Vija Celmins is best known for her meticulous paintings and drawings of natural phenomena such as the ocean, spider webs, night skies, and deserts. She now mostly lives and works in New York. I treat the photograph as an object, to scan and re-make in my art. In the 1980s she created two significant series of prints Concentric Bearings, Alliance and Constellation Uncello. She rejected the use of expressive gestural marks and planning compositions. Vija Celmins has long been admired for her meticulous renderings of natural imagery, including ocean waves, desert floors, and night skies. Her painstaking approach and the intuitive nature of her process restricts how much work she makes and in turn limits displays of her work. (As opposed to more artistic photographs views of landscapes that aim to capture mood or atmosphere). Writing in the catalogue for her retrospective exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia; he says that her status changed ‘from the status of a refugee to a nomad – a nomad who could find her bearings from the infinitesimal reference points that nature offers.'. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. Vija Celmins est une artiste contemporaine influente connue pour ses dessins photoréalistes d’environnements naturels, comme des océans, des terrains déserts et des champs d’étoiles. Gather photographs, drawings, letters from your past or from your family archive. In 1961 she won a Fellowship to attend a Summer session at Yale University, where she met Chuck Close and Brice Marden, who would remain close friends. The vast expanses of ocean views, deserts and star fields she depicts have no beginning or end. Her interest in images continued, and in the 1960s Celmins began using photographs she found in magazines and books as a source for her art. This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). Vija Celmins creates subtle, often delicate, monochromatic paintings, drawings and prints based largely on her own photographs of the desert, sea, night sky, and other natural phenomena. Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website: vija celmins. The writer and curator Elita Ansone suggests that the spider’s web motif is related to the night skies images, commenting that 'each [spider's web] work represents a different feeling and a different image, as if each were a new galaxy.'. She received a BFA from the John Herron Institute in Indianapolis, and later earned her MFA in painting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Working in California in the 1960s, Vija Celmins' early work, generally in photorealistic painting and pop-inspired sculpture, was representational. And distance creates an opportunity to view the work more slowly and to explore your relationship to it. She later switched to using woodcuts, and then to eraser and charcoal, and added printmaking to her repertory. Since that time, she has worked out of a cottage in Sag Harbor, New York, and a studio loft on Crosby Street in Soho, Manhattan. Press a piece of paper to your inked surface to make your print. Do you think people look at and respond to drawings or prints in a different way than they do documentary photographs? Celmins’s work is not autobiographical – she generally does not make work about her experiences or feelings. Oct 21, 2019–Sep 20, 2020 Find out about the subjects, ideas and processes behind Celmins's meticulous drawings, paintings and prints. To create her drawings, prints and paintings she selects and masks out a detailed area within a photograph. (It can be any image, but it may help if the image is black-and-white). Throughout the history of art, the natural world has inspired artists. I don’t ever reveal what I’m feeling in my work, or what I think about the President. For Celmins, a work of art does not represent anything but itself. Experiment with charcoal. She relentlessly examines the source images she works from, reworking them again and again, and exploring different or representing them through subtle variations. War planes, smoking guns, automobile crashes and explosions feature in her paintings of the 1960s. Top tip: Use a rolling pin to press the paper onto the inked surface to ensure maximum transfer of your image. When she began painting again in the 1980s, drawing and printmaking remained central to her art. Her paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints depict scenes that are too vast or mercurial to be fixed in the mind’s eye. The image of the ocean in Ocean Surface Woodcut 1992 is based a photograph of the Pacific Ocean that Celmins took in the late 1960s.

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