Vija Celmins

Untitled (Desert-Galaxy)

About this artwork

Celmins's intense monochromatic images, based on photographs of the desert and a galaxy in the night sky, focus on small and individual marks in the context of vastness. The images appear fragile because they record a specific human glimpse through a telescope or camera which is ephemeral and frozen in time. Celmins's serial exploration of her subjects allows her to exploit the distinct characteristics of the variety of media she uses. This double-image drawing brings together two of Celmins's recurring motifs, the desert landscape and the night sky. Celmins has explained that her galaxy drawings originate from a love of exploring "the blackness of the pencil". She leaves the paper bare to create points of light.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Untitled (Desert-Galaxy)
  • date created:
    1974
  • materials:
    Graphite on acrylic ground on paper
  • measurements:
    44.20 x 95.60 cm (framed: 52.00 x 103.50 x 4.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00162
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins