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Charles Seliger

Celestial
1956
pencil, tempera, oil, and wax
15 x 21 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hy Klebanow

Charles Seliger's abstract, organic imagery reflects the natural world—earth strata, botanical and biological forms, primeval and oceanic life—yet he has also referred to his representations as "inner landscapes." Celestial refers to the heavens, which were among his many visual sources. The silvery delicacy of line and forms in this drawing suggest the invisible world made visible, blurring distinctions between microscopic images and views through a telescope.