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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
Artist
Vija Celmins, Jennifer Turner, Camen Schilaci, Gemini G.E.L.
Title
Untitled (Web 4)
Date
2002
Medium
Photogravure with burninshing and drypoint on Hahnemühle copperplate paper
Dimensions
Image: 15 1/2 × 19 1/4 inches (39.4 × 48.9 cm)Sheet: 20 1/2 × 24 1/2 inches (52.1 × 62.2 cm)Framed: 23 1/8 × 27 inches (58.7 × 68.6 cm)
Tags
Mixed Media
Credit Line
Kirk Varnedoe Collection, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, Gift of the Artist.
Accession Number
2006.8
"Maybe I identify with the spider. I'm the kind of person who works on something forever and then works on the same image again the next day."
-VIJA CELMINS

Born in Latvia in 1939, Vija Celmins immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 10. Her study of art began at the John Herron Institute in Indianapolis, where she earned her BFA, and continued at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her MFA in painting. After discarding her early interest in the work of the New York Abstract Expressionists, Celmins has been rendering nature imagery from black and white photographic sources since the 1960s, exploring the same subjects repeatedly in paintings, drawings, and prints. Rather than depicting sweeping, panoramic views, Celmins’s natural scenes isolate a small slice of the landscape, presenting it to the viewer outside of its normal context.

In all of her work, Celmins has shown herself to be most interested not in the meanings of the objects she depicts, but in the process of rendering a three-dimensional object or scene on a two-dimensional canvas or sheet of paper. During the time of this artwork’s making, Celmins engaged herself in a series of prints depicting spider webs, of which Untitled (Web 4), in the Kirk Varnedoe Collection, is a part. The series celebrates the intricacy and fragility of the gossamer webs created by arachnids.