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Elson Lecture 2006: A Talk with Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins, artist, in conversation with Jeffrey Weiss, curator and head of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art (1999-2007). Latvian-born Vija Celmins is a leading artist of her generation, skilled in several media. After producing a body of paintings and drawings in the 1960s of electrical household appliances and newspaper clippings, often about violent subjects, she came to devote her work to the minutely crafted images of “landscape” subjects: the night sky, the desert, and the ocean. Celmins’ work possesses a conceptual edge that belies its ravishing beauty. Joined in conversation with curator Jeffrey Weiss on February 16, 2006, as part of the Elson Lecture Series at the National Gallery of Art, Celmins discusses her transformative career, which has spanned half a century.