Blain|Southern London presents The Mariner’s Meadow, the gallery’s first exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist, Enrique Martínez Celaya. The exhibition unveils sixteen previously unseen paintings, in which the artist focuses on the sea and its relation to the human subconscious.
Despite leaving the Caribbean in 1982, the sea has remained with Martínez Celaya as a ‘stowaway’. ‘The sea’, he writes, ‘was the end of all paths and the edge of all comings and goings, the reference point for conversations, and the all-absorbing witness of a history of colonialism and longing.’ In these paintings, the artist portrays the sea in its various moods: at times passive, at others exerting significant impact on the protagonists' journeys.
Although often working in multiple mediums, including sculpture and the written word, the nature of painting and its capacity to create and sustain meaning remains one of Martínez Celaya’s central concerns. The artist views painting as a sustained process of inquiry, and often significantly reworks an artwork several times over the course of months or years. In The Prophet, the artist worked through a variety of species of sea creatures and human figures, before settling on the scene of a girl with one foot resting on a beached shark.
This exhibition follows solo projects of works concerning the land and sky in New York, Berlin and Stockholm, as well as the artist’s participation in the 13th Havana Biennial.
The accompanying catalogue includes an essay by critic Barry Schwabsky, a conversation between Martínez Celaya and the writer and psychoanalyst Anouchka Grose, as well as the artist’s texts and selection of poetry.