Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins

(B. 1938, Riga, Latvia)

Vija Celmins began her career in the 1960s painting ordinary household objects such as the lamp, hotplate, and heater in her studio, rendering them in grisaille and imbuing them with a palpable human quality – as much portraits as they are still lifes. Other paintings of just-fi red revolvers, and a television set showing an image of a plane being shot down, make a transition between these ”neutral” domestic objects and those images which relate to her childhood memories of Germany during World War II.

1961 Yale Summer Session; 1962 B.F.A. John Herron Institute, Indianapolis, IN; 1965 M.F.A., UCLA.

First solo show:
1966 David Stuart Gallery, L.A.

First group show:
1969 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX.

Recent exhibitions:
1996 Institute of Contemporary Art, London; 1997 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; 2006 The Hammer Museum, L.A.

Vija Celmins

Freeway, 1966

Private Collection
Photographer/Photo © Courtesy McKee Gallery

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