Enrique Martínez Celaya (b. 1964 Havana, CU) is an artist, author, and former scientist who was born in Cuba and raised in Spain and Puerto Rico. He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12. His multidisciplinary practice layers personal and universal experiences, the former being in part influenced by his upbringing in the turbulent cultural and political environment of Puerto Rico in the 1970s.

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Enrique Martinez Celaya Portrait

BIOGRAPHY

Martínez Celaya works in wide-ranging materials and media, creating works on paper, painting, sculpture and installation. His work touches on leitmotifs of youth, isolation, the vastness of nature and the sublime. Employing symbolism and allegory, his works often depict enigmatic landscapes inhabited by solitary figures. At times desolate and bleak, at times full of wonder, the imagery of Martínez Celaya’s works form metaphorical and psychological landscapes. Nature is littered with traces of human inhabitation: a secluded pathway cuts through a field overgrown with poppies; an empty house perched amidst fir trees emits smoke. Employing unfussy compositions and adopting archetypal images from nature such as a turbulent sea, a dense forest or a meadow of flowers, Martínez Celaya’s works stand apart from any specificities of time and place, rather they reach towards something simultaneously humble and mythic.

Of his interest in literature, Martínez Celaya has stated, “Reading is a primary source for my work. I read philosophy and literature and that is the universe I see my work in, even though I’m a visual artist ... Often when artists talk about writers, they talk about them as a source of content. I’m reading for a moral stance in the world.” As an extension of his commitment to the importance of literature and the education and formation of artists, Martínez Celaya founded ‘Whale and Star Press’ in 1998, an imprint specialising in art and its relationship to other intellectual and creative fields, in particular literature, philosophy, critical theory and science.

Martínez Celaya is the first person to hold the position of Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA). From 1994-2003, Martínez Celaya was Associate Professor of Art at Pomona College (Claremont, CA) and Claremont Graduate University. Between 2007-2010 he was Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE), and in 2016 was named the Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). He is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and has been selected as Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, positions he holds parallel to being an Artist Advisor of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO. Awards include the California Community Foundation Fellowship; J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Here and Now Award; the Hirsh Grant and the Anderson Ranch National Artist Award. Martínez Celaya has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. His work can be found in public collections including that of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden and the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, among others. Martínez Celaya currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

 

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CV

1964, Born in Havana, CU
Lives and works in Los Angeles, US

EDUCATION AND PROFESSORSHIPS

2014
Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, Hanover, US

2007-10
Visiting Presidential Professor, University of Nebraska, US

1994-2003
Associate Professor, Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University, US

1994
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, US

1994
MFA, Painting, University of California, Santa Barbara, US

1988
MS, Quantum Electronics, University of California, Berkeley, US

1986
BS, Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, US

AWARDS

2016   
The Roth Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dartmouth College, Hanover, US

2014   
Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, Hanover, US
Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, US

2013   
Knight Foundation Grant, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, US

2007   
National Artist Award, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village. US

2001   
California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles, US

1998   
Young Talent Award, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, US

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
Nothing That Is Ours, Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, US
The Gypsy Camp
, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, US
The Mirroring Land, Galerie Judin, Berlin, DE 

2016
One-On-One: Enrique Martínez Celaya / Albert Pinkham Ryder, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., US
Enrique Martínez Celaya: Small Paintings 1974-2015, Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, Alabama, US
Enrique Martinez Celaya: Self and Sea, Parafin, London, UK
Enrique Martinez Celaya: Self and Land, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Hood Art Museum, Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, US

2015
Enrique Martinez Celaya: Empires: Land and Empires: Sea, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya: Lone Star, LA Louver, Venice, US

2014
A wasted journey, a half-finished blaze, Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Umeå, SE
Burning as It Were a Lamp, Hood Art Museum, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, US
The Seaman’s Crop, Parafin, London, UK

2013
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Strandverket Konsthall, Marstrand, SE
The Pearl, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, US
Burning as It Were a Lamp, Fredric Snitze Gallery, Miami, US
Concepts and Studies for The Pearl, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, US

2012
The Tower of Snow, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, RU
The Hunt’s Will, LA Louver, Venice, US
Roadhome, Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Stockholm, SE
El Cielo de Invierno (The Winter Sky), Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, ES

2011
Schneebett, Miami Art Museum, Miami, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, LA Louver Gallery, Venice, US
The Cliff, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney, AU

2010
The Open, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK
The Crossing, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, US
Watercolors, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, US
The Palace, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, UK

2009
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Akira Ikeda Gallery, New York, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, US

2008
Daybreak, LA Louver, Venice, US
The Lovely Season, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney, AU

2007
Nomad, Miami Art Museum, Miami, US
Six Paintings on the Duration of Exile, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, JP
For two Martinson poems, poorly understood, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, US

2006
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, DE

2005
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin, DE

2004
Schneebett, Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin, DE
Enrique Martínez Celaya, CU Art Museum, Boulder, US
Body (Part III), Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney, AU
Works on Paper, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, US
The October Cycle, 2000-2002, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, US

2003
Recent Paintings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, US
Coming Home, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, US
All the Field is Ours, Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, US

2002
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, US
The October Cycle, Griffin, Santa Monica, US
October Cycle, Danese Gallery, New York, US

2001
Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, DE

2000
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Griffin, Venice, US
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Galería Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, MX

1999
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Andrew Mummery Gallery (at St. Pancras Chambers), London, UK

1998
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Galerie Bäumler, Regensburg, DE
Works on Paper and Poems, Luigi Marrozzini Gallery, San Juan, PR

1997
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Burnett Miller Gallery, Santa Monica, US

1996
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Bronx Museum of the Arts (with Alberto Rey), New York, US

1995
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, Santa Monica, US

1994
University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, US


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015
Showing Off: Recent Acquisitions, Denver Art Museum, Denver, US

2014
New Releases, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, US
Starting Here: A Selection of Distinguished Artists from UCSB, Art, Design & Architecture
Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, US
California Dreamin’: Thirty Years of Collection, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, US

2013
Cuban Forever, Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, US
CELEBRATING TWO DECADES: The Peggy and Eric Lieber Collection and Other Gifts,
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Center for the Arts: Pepperdine University, Malibu, US
 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, RU
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, US
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, SE
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, US
Miami Art Museum, Miami, US
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, DE
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, US
Denver Art Museum, Denver, US
Konsthallen Strandverket på Marstrand, SE
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, US
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, US
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, US
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, US
Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, US
The Colorado Collection, Boulder, US
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, US
Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, US
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, US
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, US
Neues Stadtmuseum der Stadt Landsberg/Lech, DE
Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, US
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, US
Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, US
Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, US
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, US
Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, US

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