Vija Celmins To Fix the Image in Memory 1977-82

  • Not on view

For this work, Celmins made bronze casts of eleven rocks and then painted the casts to resemble the original stones as closely as possible. In an interview, she recalled, "I got the idea for this piece while walking in northern New Mexico picking up rocks, as people do. I'd bring them home and I kept the good ones. I noticed that I kept a lot that had galaxies on them. I carried them around in the trunk of my car. I put them on window sills. I lined them up. And, finally, they formed a set, a kind of constellation. I developed this desire to try and put them into an art context. Sort of mocking art in a way, but also to affirm the act of making: the act of looking and making as a primal act of art." By having each original rock installed with its duplicate, Celmins invites the viewer to examine them closely: "Part of the experience of exhibiting them together with the real stones," she has said, "was to create a challenge for your eyes. I wanted your eyes to open wider."

Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.
Medium
Stones and painted bronze, eleven pairs
Dimensions
Overall dimensions variable
Credit
Gift of Edward R. Broida in honor of David and Renee McKee
Object number
679.2005
Copyright
© 2020 Vija Celmins
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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