Art History: Space, time, and the limits of painting in the early work of Vija Celmins
Presenter: Andrew Ward
Best-known for her meticulous depictions of barren desert surfaces, ridging ocean swells, and inestimable night skies, Vija Celmins (born 1938) commenced her career in the artistic context of 1960s Los Angeles. Turning inward to the space of her Venice Beach studio during the early 1960s, Celmins’ early paintings constitute careful studies of the second-hand household objects readily available to her. Indebted somewhat to the still life tradition and the contemporaneous development of pop art, these works nevertheless indicate a separate kind of subjective impulse that remains evident throughout her career. In this paper, I discuss the spatio-temporal structure of this early work as a way to think about the particular ways in which this period of intense introspection in the studio became instructive to Celmins’ later work as well as her self-presentation and crafting of space within the artworld.
This event will be held online via Zoom.
Other seminars this semester:
22 October Ann Elias, ‘Fish-Eye Points of View and Modern Culture’
29 October Stephanie Swanson ‘The Triumph of Death in Trecento Italy’
Ann Sutherland, ‘Two expatriate Australian painters: two continents’
5 November Scholars Forum: ‘At home in the World’
Chair: Kate Davidson, Contributions by: Donna Brett, Kate Davidson, Mark De Vitis, Mary Roberts
19 November Scholars Forum: ‘Museums as sites of civil society: Conversations with audience in the 21st century’, Chiara O’Reilly, Anna Lawrenson, Lee-Anne Hall