American, born Latvia, 1938
Over the course of her long and productive career, Vija Celmins has translated the surfaces of oceans, skies, spiderwebs, desert floors, and other subjects into meticulously drawn images. Her goal in making these works is not to create photorealistic illusions, however, and she always reveals the edges of her works on paper. Instead, Celmins primarily sees her art as the result of contemplative engagement with the natural world. Untitled (Desert) appears vast and expansive, inviting us to consider the sublimity of the landscape, while Celmins’s loving attention to minuscule details also pulls us closer into the present moment.
Label from The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, May 26–October 28, 2018