(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.
1996 Institute of Contemporary Art, London; 1997 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; 2006 The Hammer Museum, L.A.
Photographer/Photo © Courtesy McKee Gallery