Vija Celmins American, born Latvia
Printer Doris Simmelink American
Publisher Gemini G.E.L. American

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Strata possesses the subtlety, sense of timelessness, and apparent stillness found throughout Celmins’s work. The artist achieved the deep, black velvety tones of the dark night sky by abrading the printing plate. She created a carpet of flickering stars by carving dashes and dots to reveal glimpses of the ivory paper support. Unable to find a mezzotint plate large enough for Strata, Celmins affixed twenty-five smaller copper plates to a single aluminum plate, a process she acknowledged by drawing a grid on the surface of the finished plate. The grid, a form that communicates order, structure, and regularity, while emphasizing the flatness of the pictorial plane, provides a contrast to the illusion of three-dimensionality and expansiveness in the image.

Strata, Vija Celmins (American, born Riga, Latvia, 1938), Mezzotint

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