Vija Celmins (b. 1938) was born in Riga, Latvia but her family moved to the USA in 1948. Celmins studied painting at the John Herron School of Art, Indianapolis 1955–62. She started as a painter and sculptor focusing on everyday objects, and also drew from her childhood experience of the war and paralleled this with the Vietnam War. However, from the late 1960s, Celmins began to confine her practice to drawing and working predominantly with found photographic material of nature and space.
Her work is in national collections including; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York), the Whitney Museum, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Celmins has exhibited in major solo shows across the world including Paris, New York, and Cologne. In 2014, she had her first major solo in Latvia at The Latvian National Art Museum, Riga.
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