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Vija Celmina's painting not shown for 50 years goes up for auction in Los Angeles

"Untitled (Knife and Dish)".
 LOS ANGELES, Feb 14 - Famous Latvian-American painter Vija Celmina's painting that has not been shown in public for fifty years will be auctioned in Los Angeles in May, newspaper "LA Times" reports.

The painting, "Untitled (Knife and Dish)" from 1964, is estimated at USD 300,000 to USD 500,000.

The painting that has been hanging in its owners' kitchen for almost 50 years will go up for auction at Los Angeles Modern Auctions on May 19.

The couple who own the knife-and-dish image say they bought the painting in 1964 for less than USD 100 from the artist. The painting has been cleaned to eliminate "some particulates and grease" on its surface, though experts describe the overall condition as "excellent".

"Untitled (Knife and Dish)," an oil on canvas from 1964, is a plain-looking painting of a knife balanced on a small white plate against a large brown background, rendered in a simple palette from a rather head-on perspective. Other deadpan works made by Celmina that year now belong to museums, including "Heater" (at the Whitney Museum of American Art), "Gun with Hand #1" (at the Museum of Modern Art) and "Eggs" (at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego).

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