ARTIST ROOMS Vija Celmins

Event information

Date 17 May 2024 - 18 Aug 2024

Time 10.00am to 4.00pm, Wednesday to Sunday

Cost Free Admission

Venue Dunoon Burgh Hall, 195 Argyll St, Dunoon PA23 7DD

Type Art, Crafts & Design

“I’m not a very confessional artist, you know. I don’t ever reveal what I’m feeling in my work, or what I think about the President. I use nature. I use found images.’

A mesmerising exhibition of works on paper by the internationally acclaimed Latvian-American artist Vija Celmins.

Featuring a group of extraordinary prints and drawings made between 1974 and 2010, it is drawn from a remarkable collection of her work in ARTIST ROOMS, presented in partnership with Tate and National Galleries of Scotland.

For more than five decades, Vija Celmins (b. Riga,1938) has sustained a practice of deep focus and astonishing skill in a range of media. Her paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints are inspired by the world around us. She has repeatedly returned to the same subjects, making intense images of natural phenomena, bringing a careful focus to seemingly limitless aspects of nature: from star-filled galaxies and night skies, to the surface of the ocean and the desert floor, or the intricate construction of a spider’s web.

‘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. My work lies between intimacy and distance.’

For Celmins, subject matter is of secondary importance to the making process. The works in the exhibition reveal her intense engagement in drawing and printmaking. Working only with a nuanced palette of blacks and greys, she exploits the inherent qualities of each material and method to create extraordinary, minutely-detailed, subtle surfaces. Celmins will work for many months on a single image.

Celmins has been the subject of over 40 solo exhibitions since 1965, including major retrospectives at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

ARTIST ROOMS is a national collection of international modern and contemporary art. Its programme reaches audiences across the UK and is developed through local partnerships.

Vija Celmins Ocean Surface Woodcut 1992, 1992. ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate © Vija Celmins, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery