Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Drypoint—Ocean Surface (Between First and Second State)

Vija Celmins American, born Latvia

Not on view

After completing and printing the first state of this intricate ocean image, Celmins wanted to repeat the experience, so she redrew the image on the plate with an etching needle. This proof impression, made halfway through the process, shows the reworked darkened area below the still-pale tones found in the first state. Only after pulling this artist proof did she finish her work as a second state. The ocean image, translated from photographs into different media, holds an important place in the artist’s oeuvre. With its suspended character, this drypoint is a remarkable exception in Celmins’s usually highly finished production. Yet, it beautifully conveys her intense focus and laborious artistic practice, in which she can sometimes take months to turn the surface of an artwork into a field of visual incidents.

Drypoint—Ocean Surface (Between First and Second State), Vija Celmins (American, born Riga, Latvia, 1938), One-color drypoint on Rives BFK paper

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.