Vija Celmins
Tate Britain: Display
14 May 201225 March 2013
  • Vija Celmins, 'Drypoint - Ocean Surface' 1983
    Vija Celmins
    Drypoint - Ocean Surface 1983
    One-colour drypoint on Arches Satine paper (first state)
    image: 186 x 239 mm
    Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008© Vija Celmins

American artist Vija Celmins is part of a generation of artists, in particular those based in Los Angeles during the 1960s, who made work using found images. Celmins repeatedly returns to the same images to produce intricate desert scenes, star-filled night skies, oceans and cobwebs. In her prints and drawings she explores traditional printing techniques and the material density of charcoal, graphite and ink. She comments:

The images are not from observations of nature, but are ’found images’ from old magazines, books and photos. Thus they are already flattened and a step removed from nature. In my work, the information they hold is re-told and given a new life in a new context. Where Turner found light and color so inspirational, I have tended to drift toward an exploration of darkness. The material I have used has pushed me in that direction.

For this display the artist has selected four unique drawings and related prints from the ARTIST ROOMS collection. In the next room, Vija Celmins has selected works on paper by J.M.W. Turner to coincide with the presentation of her own work.

Tate would like to thank Vija Celmins for her generous gift of work to ARTIST ROOMS and in lending additional works for this display.

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