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Vija Celmins

Latvian/American, b. 1938

1988 30.5 x 24.5 x 1 in.
Museum Purchase with the Charter Member Endowment Fund

At a young age, Vija Celmins moved with her parents from Latvia to Indianapolis. She learned English, in part, by collecting pictures and comic books. Her interest in found images began with those books and then she moved into utilizing photographs from magazines and books as a source for her art in the 1960’s. She also created sculptures based on everyday objects. Similar to other artists of the 1960’s, such as Andy Warhol, Celmin created artwork based on paintings and prints found in everyday objects and images.

Alliance, pairs two images to play the images off one another, forcing a comparison of two different spatial perspectives.

Celmin studied at the John Herron School of Art, where she participated in a fellowship with Yale University, and received her BFA. She went on to pursue a MFA at University of California, Los Angeles, where she continued to explore different mediums. After teaching at multiple colleges and universities, Celmin accepted an invitation to teach at the Skowhegan School of painting and sculpture in 1981, resulting in her permanent move to New York City.

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  • intaglio prints - Prints made using the process of intaglio printing, in which recessed areas of the plate or block have been cut or etched away in order to hold ink.
  • schematic
  • ship
  • sky
  • stars - Massive self-luminous celestial bodies of gas that shine by radiation derived from internal energy sources. There are tens of billions of trillions of stars composing the visible universe.

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