Vija Celmins is considered one of the most important postwar artists for her exquisite depictions of the sea, night skies, and spider webs. She received an MFA from UCLA in 1965. By the late 1970s, she had turned to the images of nature for which she is best known. Often culled from photographs, Celmins's renderings-characterized by a palette of blacks and grays, a lack of horizon line, spatial ambiguity, and a sense of the infinite in the smallest detail-are meticulously crafted yet question the conventions of realism. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1997.
Portrait photo courtesy the artist
Night Sky #22, 2001; photo courtesy John Bigelow