Vija Celmins

(b. 1938)
Lot 211
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Shoes)
Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000
Price Realized: $175,000
September 30, 2018
Lot 212
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Ocean with Cross #1)
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $17,500
September 30, 2018
Lot 141
Vija Celmins
Comet (from Skowhegan Suite)
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $17,500
June 10, 2018
Lot 61
Vija Celmins
Jupiter Moon - Constellation
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $8,750
May 21, 2017
Lot 42
Vija Celmins
Desert (from Untitled Portfolio)
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $12,500
March 5, 2017
Lot 43
Vija Celmins
Sky (from Untitled Portfolio)
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $22,500
March 5, 2017
Lot 135
Vija Celmins
Alliance
Estimate: $7,000 - $10,000
Price Realized: $7,000
October 9, 2016
Lot 142
Vija Celmins
Spider Web
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,125
October 11, 2015
Lot 130
Vija Celmins
Sky (from Untitled portfolio)
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $10,000
March 1, 2015
Lot 131
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Web 1) (from The MOCA Portfolio)
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $12,500
March 1, 2015
Lot 279
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Ocean with Cross #1)
Estimate: $7,000 - $10,000
Price Realized: $13,750
October 12, 2014
Lot 280
Vija Celmins
WEB
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,750
October 12, 2014
Lot 210
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Ham Hock)
Estimate: $400,000 - $600,000
Price Realized: $531,250
February 23, 2014
Lot 160
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Knife and Dish)
Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000
Price Realized: $587,500
May 19, 2013
Lot 161
Vija Celmins
Untitled (Ocean with Cross #1)
Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Price Realized: $10,000
May 19, 2013
Lot 339
Vija Celmins
WEB
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,500
October 7, 2012
Lot 340
Vija Celmins
Book and Untitled (Saturn)
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $6,250
October 7, 2012
Lot 297
Vija Celmins
"Ocean with Cross #1"
Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $9,375
March 6, 2011
Lot 145
Vija Celmins
WEB
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $6,125
December 6, 2009
Lot 146
Vija Celmins
Ocean with Cross #1
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $9,188
December 6, 2009
Lot 451
Vija Celmins
Ocean with Cross #1
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $8,400
December 7, 2008
Lot 78
Vija Celmins
Ocean with Cross, #1
Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Price Realized: $8,400
February 10, 2008

About The Artist


The contemporary painter Vija Celmins is greatly admired throughout the world, but many forget that she had her start in Venice, California. Though before she arrived in America, Celmins and her family fled their hometown of Riga, Latvia to escape the imminent Soviet occupation of 1944. After a brief stay at a United Nations refugee camp in Germany, they eventually found solace in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1948. As a 16-year-old art student, she traveled to New York City where she encountered paintings by de Kooning and other Abstract Expressionists. Her infatuation with Action painting was short-lived however, and upon graduating the John Heron Art Institute, she moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to begin her MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1964, Celmins chose to venture into a minimal, almost primitive style, painting still lifes of common objects in her studio: a space heater, a fan, a lamp, eggs on a hot plate, cups, spoons, and forks. Painting these everyday objects, cloaked in muted grays, served as a way for Celmins to stop thinking and inventing; this was a period for her to revitalize her work and while doing so, she ultimately broke through to create a form of art that was entirely her own. In 1965, Celmins’s thesis show marked a pivotal point in her career, replacing the common, everyday objects from her studio with surreal, radical imagery, commenting on current and historical disaster. The cups, forks, and space heater were replaced with a rhinoceros, a smoking gun, and a World War II fighter plane. Celmins eventually ventured into sculpture and continues producing photorealist paintings. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

 

Read an article in the Los Angeles Times about the Vija Celmins painting sold in the May 19, 2013 Modern Art & Design Auction.

 

Relyea, Lane, Robert Gober, and Briony Fer. Vija Celmins. New York: Phaidon, 2004. Print.
Sirmans, Franklin, and Michelle White. Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Print.

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