"Night Sky #10" (1994-1995)

"Night Sky #10," 1994-1995
Oil on linen mounted on wood, 31 x 37 1/2 inches
Private collection
Photo by John Bigelow Taylor
Courtesy McKee Gallery, New York

"I crawl over the photograph like an ant. And I document my crawling on another surface. And the other surface I adjust very subtly so that...somehow you know what it is. So that it doesn’t look like these are just pieces cut out of a big thing but actually, because of a balance between the material and the image and the making, when you get very close to them you see that they’re ‘made.’ You can almost participate in seeing how it’s made. It has totally other qualities than the photograph. But the photograph is really the subject, the photograph itself...It’s not really like a reference. A reference implies that I’m just lifting the image off, but actually I’m not just lifting the image off. I’m redescribing it." - Vija Celmins ...

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"I crawl over the photograph like an ant. And I document my crawling on another surface. And the other surface I adjust very subtly so that...somehow you know what it is. So that it doesn’t look like these are just pieces cut out of a big thing but actually, because of a balance between the material and the image and the making, when you get very close to them you see that they’re ‘made.’ You can almost participate in seeing how it’s made. It has totally other qualities than the photograph. But the photograph is really the subject, the photograph itself...It’s not really like a reference. A reference implies that I’m just lifting the image off, but actually I’m not just lifting the image off. I’m redescribing it."

- Vija Celmins

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