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Vija Celmins

Heater
1964

Not on view

Date
1964

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Oil on canvas

Dimensions
Overall: 47 9/16 × 48in. (120.8 × 121.9 cm)

Accession number
95.19

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee

Rights and reproductions
© Vija Celmins

From the beginning of her artistic career, Vija Celmins's art has been concerned with a meticulous representation of objects and the natural world, devoid of human presence. This early painting, Heater, was made when Celmins was a graduate student at UCLA and engaged in a methodical depiction of the contents of her studio, recording the physical condition of the objects and the space around them with precise attention to detail. Painted in a highly realistic fashion, the heater appears to radiate warmth from its glowing coils. Isolated against a field of grey, the heater is separated from its physical context, rendering it neutral and almost abstract.




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