Author(s): Robert Gober
Primarily a painter of still-life and landscape, Vija Celmins (b. 1938, Latvia; moved to the US in 1949) is a major international figure associated with 1960s Pop art.
Lane Relyea (Survey) is Assistant Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, Chicago. His essays and reviews have appeared in Artforum, Parkett and frieze; major contributions to exhibition catalogues include Helter Skelter (1992) and Public Offerings (2001) both at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Robert Gober (Interview) is among the most important American artists to have emerged in the 1980s. Primarily a sculptor and installation artist, Gober's handcrafted works, often based on familiar, domestic objects, have been the object of major exhibitions, among them the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, and the Reina Sofia, Madrid (both 1991); and the Art Institute of Chicago (1988). In 2001 Gober represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. Briony Fer (Focus) is Reader in History of Art at University College London; her books include On Abstract Art (1997) and The Infinite Line (2004). Fer has written on a wide range of artists including Hanne Darboven, Rachel Whiteread and Eva Hesse for Hesse's recent retrospective (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum Wiesbaden, and tour, 2002). For her Artist's Choice Barth has selected an extract from 'Funes the Memorious', a short story from the collection Ficciones (Fictions, 1944) by Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) the acclaimed Argetinian poet, essayist and novelist. Borges' fantastical, dream-like fables are classics of 20th century literature. Vija Celmins' Artist's Writing is an extract from her important, book-length interview with the noted American Pop portraitist, Chuck Close, revealing the two artists' uneasy relationship to painting and its history.
Interview - Noted artist Robert Gober speaks with Celmins about her studio habits and the sources behind her work. Survey - Critic and art historian Lane Relyea chronicles the artist's long and unique career. Focus - Art historian and theorist Briony Fer takes a deep look into one of the artist's night skies, Night Sky #19 (1998). Artist's Choice - In parallel to Celmins' own limitless depiction of the world, the Artists Choice is Jorge Luis Borges' tale Funes the Memorious, about the vastness of human memory. Artist's Writings - Excerpts from her important interview with fellow Pop artist Chuck Close in 1991 form the Artist's Writings section. Chronology and Bibliography