the work becomes its own reason for being


Sometimes I’m convinced that there is nothing else but the physical act of making the art.

I often now talk about building a painting  instead of painting a painting.

This needs a little this, this needs a little this, this needs a little this.

I don’t question it, I follow my intuition. That’s what I do.


Vija Celmins - Ocean with Cross 1 2005

Ocean with Cross 1 2005


Most of the changes in the work occur when I have had some kind of an experience that has been like a little awakening experience. Usually out in life and I’ve forgotten all about it and then somehow it creeps into the work. I don’t know how to say that.

It’s hard to talk about painting. I mean, it’s hard for me to talk about the painting because I don’t know a lot about it. You know, in a way I don’t know that much about it. It isn’t like I’m totally in control of everything.

I do like kind of impossible images. I mean images that are hard to pin down. That aren’t like a tabletop and an apple, but images that are really almost like mind images. Images that are space but they’re hard to grasp. But then they’re very graspable here, I mean, I make them accessible through another way, through manipulating the paint.

– Vija Celmins


Source: PBS Website
More information at Wikipedia

Image © copyright Vija Celmins

On the blog: Vija Celmins – a certain kind of presence


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