For more than five decades, Vija Celmins has been creating subtle, exquisitely detailed renderings of the physical world — including oceans, desert floors, and night skies. Distilling vast, expansive distances into mesmerizing, small-scale artworks, these “redescriptions” are a way to understand human consciousness in relation to lived experience. One of the few women to be recognized as a significant artist in 1960s Los Angeles, Celmins relocated to New York City in 1981, where she continues to live and work. Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory features more than 140 artworks, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures. A global debut, this is the first Celmins retrospective in North America in more than twenty-five years.
Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Major support for Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory is provided by the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund.
Generous support is provided by the Barbara & Gerson Bakar Foundation, the Gerson Bakar Foundation, Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding, Janine and J. Tomilson Hill, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Agnes and Edward Lee, Susan and Larry Marx, Sheri and Paul Siegel, and Pat Wilson.
Additional support is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal.
Research for the exhibition was supported in part by SFMOMA’s Artist Initiative, which is generously funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Header image: Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), 1977; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Alfred M. Esberg; © Vija Celmins; photo: Don Ross