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Vija Celmiņš. Concentric Bearings. 1989

Latvian-American artist Vija Celmiņš in Denmark 0

Louisiana – on paper. Vija Celmiņš
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
8 September – 8 January, 2012

The last, autumnal breath of summer in Denmark will accompany the opening of the third and final part of the 2011 exhibition cycle, Louisiana – on paper, a graphic art and drawing exposition shown at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. From 8 September through 8 January, the Modern Art Museum will exhibit the graphic art works of the Latvian-American artist, Vija Celmiņš.

Vija Celmiņš, painter, graphic artist and installation artist, was born on 25 October, 1938, in Riga. In the autumn of 1944, the Celmiņš Family left their homeland and became war refugees, ending up in Germany, where they spent several years in the Latvian Displaced Persons' camp in Esslingen. In 1948, Vija and her family emigrated to the USA and settled in the state of Indiana. From 1955 – 1962 Vija studied at the John Herron Art Institute and dedicated her artistically formative years to painting. In 1965, at the University of California, Los Angeles, the promising artist received her master's degree.

In the 1960's, Vija Celmiņš turned to a new medium – drawing with a graphite pencil. The artist received recognition from the art world with her painting and drawing series imitating monochromatic photographs, in which she illustrated starry skies and studied dessert sands, rendering every grain of sand and stone in its chosen place.  In her wish to understand the traits of water and the structure of waves, and using pictures of the ocean, the artist created her first paintings and drawings consisting only of the surface of the ocean.

The images masterfully created by her accomplished, filigreed hand appear so fragile that it seems as if a soft, off-shore wind will again swing into motion the posed waves that she has fixed to the paper's fiber. By registering the smallest unit of matter, Vija Celmiņš builds a motif, a whole and the Universe, revealing the entirety that the format of a small piece of paper can achieve.

Vija Celmiņš's fine and nuanced body of work in the exhibition, Louisiana – on paper, will be represented by her 1989 photogravure, Concentric Bearings, from the Louisiana Museum's foreign art collection.

Louisiana – on paper is an exhibition series of miniatures at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, featuring drawings from their foreign art collection.  

Vija Celmiņš. Concentric Bearings. 1989

Gl. Strandvej 13
Humlebæk, Denmark