Stop, look, and see.
Exhibition

Vija Celmins

To Fix the Image in Memory

December 15, 2018–March 31, 2019

Floor 4

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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.


Exhibition Preview

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), 1977; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Alfred M. Esberg; © Vija Celmins; photo: Don Ross

Vija Celmins, Envelope, 1964; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, House #2, 1965; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Suspended Plane, 1966; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, by exchange, through the bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Comb, 1969–70; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Council Fund; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, To Fix the Image in Memory I–XI, 1977–82; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Edward R. Broida in honor of David and Renee McKee; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Web #1), 1998; Tate Modern, London, 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; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Night Sky #16, 2000–01; gift of Helen and Charles Schwab through The Art Supporting Foundation; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Japanese Book, 2007–8; private collection; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins, Blackboard Tableau #1, 2007–10; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase, by exchange, through the bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Vija Celmins; photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery


Watch


Exhibition Catalogue

This comprehensive and lavishly illustrated volume explores the full range of Celmins’s work produced since the 1960s.
Read More

Vija Celmins Audio Guide Preview

Don’t miss this exclusive audio guide to Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory, featuring commentary from the artist and exhibition curators.
Listen


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

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