ENRIQUE MARTINEZ CELAYA THE OTHER LIFE
ENRIQUE MARTINEZ CELAYA THE OTHER LIFE Stockholm, May 3 - June 2, 2018
GALLERI ANDERSSON/SANDSTRÖM STOCKHOLM/UMEÅ
The Other Life Enrique Martínez Celaya
WRITING AND WORDS Part of me likes consistency and systems, though I am aware that granular observations and examinations of life patterns undermine the illusion of order. Growing up, dislocation and chaos were more familiar to me than order, and maybe that is the reason for its appeal. This conflict between order and the particulars of experience is commonplace; what differs from person to person is the magnitude of the struggle. In his 1953 essay The Hedgehog and the Fox, philosopher Isaiah Berlin described this tension in Leo Tolstoy: This violent contradiction between the data of experience, from which he could not liberate himself, and which, of course, all his life he knew alone to be real, and his deeply metaphysical belief in the existence of a system to which they must belong, whether they appear to do so or not, this conflict between instinctive judgement and theoretical conviction–between his gifts and his opinions–mirrors the unresolved conflict between the reality of the moral life, with its sense of responsibility, joys, sorrows, sense of guilt and sense of achievement–all of which is nevertheless illusion–and the laws which govern everything, although we cannot know more than a negligible portion of them–so that all scientists and historians who say that they do know them and are guided by them are lying and deceiving–but which nevertheless alone are real.1 In my case, the desire for consistency and system-building was, and remains, a tendency of my writings about artistic projects. Behind this tendency is the expectation that each new essay or note should have a relationship to previous ones, particularly in their overarching emotional and philosophical tone. This is why I am surprised by the new work, The Other Life, which wants to carve out its own territory. The Other Life has connections to what I have done before, but its emotional register posits more starkly than before despair, loss, and loneliness against tenderness, redemption, and love. As I consider the paintings in this body of work, I find myself reflecting on inevitability, tragedy, and loss in a way that does not discount hope but places it out of reach—an unavoidable and maybe worrisome narrowness of scope that also affects this writing.
Isaiah Berlin, The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1953). 1
Opposite: The Fate (what is locked away), 2018. Watercolor on paper. 20 x 14.25 in. / 51 x 36 cm
This writing is also influenced—and probably made more convoluted— by my desire to challenge what I think are misunderstandings about my work that often stem from ready-made analyses. One motivation for mounting these challenges is the recognition that for me to be clearer, many of the terms and words I want to use need to be repositioned or reclaimed. Words are clustered with associations that influence their meaning. If I say painting, for instance, the word brings with it ways in which paintings are described and considered; or if I say loss, it is usually assumed that as an immigrant I must be invoking exile. Decoupling associations is difficult, however, so we tend to either ignore their clustering around our words, or avoid words altogether by letting “the work speak for itself.” Since our interpretations rely on comparing what we see and hear with what we know, the success of either approach in serving the work depends on how closely its spirit mirrors the contemporary artistic and intellectual discourse. In the case of my work, current biases towards familiar themes and approaches have had at least two detrimental effects on its being understood: the insistence that my project should be examined with the apparatus constructed around exile; and the assumption that everything is secondary to the narratives suggested by the images. THEORIES OF EXILE All too frequently, art people expect to tease out the vagaries of self, loss, identity, and other related concepts with the use of an idiom of equivalence—this means that, this leads to that—which is crude in its insights, and cruder still in its revelation of the dynamics of those insights. In equations of dislocation formulated by whack-a-mole philosophies, nuances are displaced by pamphlet politics, packaged phrases, and international biennial themes. These common art idioms and the spirit underneath them strike me as hubris originated in fear. One of these idioms of equivalence revolves around dynamics of displacement and loss. I have been asked, or told, many times how the loss suggested in my work relates or must relate to my exile, a well-trodden analytical path that seems to propose the foreigner is to be considered mostly, and often only, in relation to his or her national dislocation. Is that so? Yesterday I saw a woman with lumps of gray wooden hair sitting outside a McDonald’s asking for money. In early March, I had lunch with an investment banker with shark eyes that he uses to look for something he lost a while back. J’s manicured hands rub his thighs as he talks, and now he sleeps in a separate room from his Mayflower wife. A wilting rock and roller lays on me his Native American borrowings while his spirit flaps mournfully in the wind. The vast nothing has opened within them. Their moral aims have grown vague. Are they exiles? I don’t know about the homeless woman, but the others were born here. Losses, failures, and near misses, as well as achievements and the efforts behind them, exert their weight and their drag on us. Meaninglessness and fancies worm into our drives, whether we are
natives or foreigners. Finding oneself in a strange land leaves an indelible mark, especially if brutality, poverty, or sexual abuse are part of the migration, but the emotional equations are different for everyone. Some experiences are shared, but each exile has his or her own story to tell, which may or may not be more acute than his or her other individual psychological, existential, and domestic conditions. Insisting the foreigner’s equations of loss and gain can be solved with the algebra of a displacement narrative oversimplifies. The price usually paid for accepting conventional dissections of who we are is the invisibility of the existential and psychological dimension of our experience, and thus of ourselves. Where is divorce in the narrative of exile; by which I mean not a social or legal term, but the lived reality of losing one’s grip on the known life, or of looking at one’s kid lost in his twin bed, wondering what the derailment of a marriage will mean to him? Where is poverty; again, not the statistics compiled and discussed in offices, but the shame and hate for the stray cat who took the only meat to come across your plate in weeks? Where is the embarrassment and aloneness of feeling different, not enough, not counted, and not countable? Where in the intellectual framework of exile can I find the means to capture my neighbor rubbing the head of his dick on the picture of my teacher’s daughter, while I stare at my yellow ducklings he drowned in a mud hole? Where is the jargon of translocation that helps me understand my mother’s longing, or my father’s Jules Verne dreams, or the melancholy of the violent and incestuous barrios in which I grew up? Why would I accept, then, a formulaic exile harness for my losses and hopes? One common reason for accepting it is to have something to hold on to in the elusive-and mostly doomed-pursuits that are art and life. THE WHALE I walk to the mirror, and I see that champion of doomed pursuits, Captain Ahab. And then it is hard not to look at all my aims, loves, regrets, and stories as part of a foretold, cursed drive to conquer an unyielding fate. My work, my family, my ideas: harpoons to be lost in the unfathomable depths of nothingness. Standing in a matchstick boat, struggling to wrestle something redemptive from art and life, searching for a part of me lost long ago whose traces will not be found in the merciless teeth of the whale. I look anyway between gums that smell of death. Courage might mean not heeding Fredrich Nietzsche’s warning, Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.2 Ahab became a monster, and the abyss gazed back into him. Without the moral compass or the civilized limits of Starbuck, and too distant from who he once was, the black-hearted Ahab has only the white monster and the abyss to keep him company, to give his wrath meaning. His wrath Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, W. Kaufmann, trans. and intro. (New York: Vintage Books, 1989). 2
against the whale is also a wrath against an absent God, against the meaninglessness of existence; but there, in that crucible of hatred and darkness, meaning emerges in the monomaniacal desire to keep going, to shape a future from nothingness. The vastness of his, and our, isolation is revealed in the loneliness of battles to wrestle life from an impassive universe, which one day will take us into its depths. The narrative of exile I am interested in is Ahab’s. The unmoored stranger, condemned to loneliness by his distance from all that he was, and enslaved by this freedom to the chase. He is and forever will be embarking until the whale allows him to arrive. The whale is his release. Tragic and, like the whale, scarred, Ahab is not heroic. Nor fragile. All that was fragile about him went with his leg into the boundlessness of Moby-Dick. The delusion of his normalcy amputated, his heart tempered by the loss, and all of his other options scorched by the fiery meaning of his pursuit. Ahab’s wrath is also towards his inability to be anything but what he is, however hideous, however unknowable. Maybe he longs to be another, one who stays with his wife—”a sweet, resigned girl”—and his child. If it is true, as Peleg says, that blasted as he is, he still has his humanities, then those are a dwelling for another; and that another is there, along with his leg, in his cosmic hatred against the way things turned out and against the universe of wife and child, a universe that is not his. More than a stranger to himself, he is an alien in a world he only infers through his compulsion, a spectral world whose only possibility of embodiment-and only for moment-is in his deadly encounter with Moby-Dick. Maybe seeing myself in the mirror as Ahab is a fancy. More than captains, artists are pseudonymed narrators performing menial tasks. I am aware of the fuss around art fairs and of the exuberant market trades, and I see the photos of the parties with artists often at the center of the fanfare, but the truth is that artists are only worth a seven hundred and seventy-seventh share of the proceedings. No more. And is the world of the pseudonymed narrators less spectral than Ahab’s? I doubt it. And unlike the captain, for an artist the embodiment of the specter is always postponed by art: the rescuing ship. Here is the end of Moby-Dick, Buoyed up by that coffin, for almost one whole day and night, I floated on a soft and dirgelike main. The unharming sharks, they glided by as if with padlocks on their mouths; the savage sea-hawks sailed with sheathed beaks. On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.3
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or, The Whale, Rockwell Kent, illus. (New York: Random House, 2018). 3
ORPHANS AND LOSSES In Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Out, Out-’, it is not the jaws of the sperm whale but the saw that maims: more impassive and remote than the Leviathan, and also more arbitrary. His sister stood beside him in her apron To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw, As if to prove saws knew what supper meant, Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap— He must have given the hand. However it was, Neither refused the meeting. But the hand! The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh, As he swung toward them holding up the hand Half in appeal, but half as if to keep The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all— Since he was old enough to know, big boy Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart— He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off— The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’ So. But the hand was gone already. The doctor put him in the dark of ether.4 I recognize that leap. I cut my hand with a saw in 2008. Part of living is contending with a growing inventory of losses. It might seem we mourn the leg and the hand, but we mostly miss who we used to be when we thought our parts were intact. Maybe we don’t want to return to all that we were; after all, the past has many blotches of darkness. But if only we could extract the wholeness we imagined we had. Memory is an unreliable cherry picker of the past. What is lost is the way back to things, to people. Somewhere everyone is still waiting for our return. Even Ahab’s wife waits for him in a rocking chair, her child on her lap, dressed in linen. Old homes are both burnt, blackened, and reduced and re-imagined transparent, like ice, distorting surroundings with the light bending the power of irretrievable moments. The words of the past are kept in precious silver books no one will open. I look down when someone speaks to me about the dialectics of displacement or the fragmentation of identity. Conflated concepts intended perhaps to systematize the unsystematizable. The illusion of truth in these matters is not made more factual because an armature of words is put around it. And put armatures around might be all that words can do. The heart of the matter remains out of reach, deep in the dark sea of time. Like the chase in Moby-Dick, the final bounty of clarity, and through it the release of the phantom limbs of the past, remains elusive. Words, especially those with arcane aspirations, are puny harpoons never intended for capturing the vastness of what is left behind.
From “Out, Out—”, in Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged, E.C Lathem, ed. and intro. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979). 4
Joseph Conrad wrote in Heart of Darkness, Droll thing life is—that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of inextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be.5
There is something in that riddle for us that does not want to be ignored. And so, despite all I have written so far, we launch in the pursuit of our whale maybe knowing it is delusional and destined for failure. How could we, glorified sardines, expect not to fail at trying to wrestle meaning from a vast, near-eternal, meaningless, and dispassionate universe? What is in that riddle for us is love. PAINTING AND LOVE Art, like all rescue ships, is a shape-shifting ghost whose appearance depends on what we lack and what we long for. Floating in the vast sea, unknown to ourselves and orphaned of purpose, we wait for our rescue, and while waiting, we see the waning sun shatter the rustle of waves. That light reminds me there is something to be rescued despite my heart telling me it is otherwise. Without the false security of a matchstick boat or the blindness of the mad chase, I float in the immense home of the white whale. Its vastness and its impassiveness bring my own vulnerability forth, and its torment and violent thrashing makes clear that the notion of meaning and purpose in this life is human-made. Painting is one way I create meaning, and it is the main way in which those meanings are compared to the friction between the data of experience and the larger context of Being. Painting mirrors our struggle to find meaning in life, in the aspiration as well as desolation—and often failure—of trying to create or impose meaning in and through means that seem inadequate. Some days painting seems banal: smearing pigment on a surface in a struggle to summon meaning. And on those days it seems, as it is said, a form of production whose significance is connected to codes and contexts. But for the most part, painting is that rare bridge between the mundane, the epic, the past, and the present. The capacity of painting to create meaning depends not on its undeniable conditions as production, object, record of Being, or divine inspiration, but in its simultaneous claim to all of them. This claim is brought to life by the instability between the references in painting and its materiality; or Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, D.C.R.A Goonetilleke, ed. and intro. (Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press, 1999). 5
to put it another way, between what it brings forth as idea, dream, or invocation, and its factual condition as object and reservoir of work. It is that instability I am after in the studio rather than the dumping of biographical stories, formal tricks, and theoretical postulates into the stable vessel that painting is often considered to be. That instability always has to be found again, in each painting, in a process so mystifying that it usually feels as if I have never painted before. Painting is physical, so this lack of mastery manifests as a limitation of my body and my hands, as well as my heart. The vastness of all that there is and all that paintings can be has to be brought about with the necessarily limited means of the artist. Sometimes I wonder why I should pursue painting, and art in general, when the probability of failure, even doom, is so high. Sigmund Freud saw the motivation as compensatory. He wrote, [The artist] is impelled by too powerful instinctive needs. He wants to achieve honor, power, riches, fame and the love of women. But he lacks the means of achieving these satisfactions. So like any other unsatisfied person, he turns away from reality, and transfers all his interests, his libido, too, to the elaboration of his imaginary wishes, all of which might easily point the way to neurosis.6 This view of painting as a turn away from reality seems to me too convinced of what reality is. Painting is not a sublimation of existing desires and dreams, but often the discovery of what these are. As I approach it, meaning in painting does not come from transferring my interest or my imaginary wishes, but from my effort to put them away. Rather than turning away from reality, painting is, simultaneously, an intellectual, emotional, and physical pursuit of what the real might be. While this simultaneity works for me, experts and non-experts alike often prefer to collapse the multiple spheres in which painting operates to settle its conceptual and emotional agitation. This impulse to decide whether it is fish or mammal is especially forthright when confronted with recognizable images. The experiential tendency toward representational work is to want to â€œdive inâ€? by ignoring every aspect of the work except for the narrative suggested by the images and their allusions and allegiances. These divers of the deep deploy politics, history, race, gender, and so on to decode, deconstruct, translate, and contextualize. In the process of mining for particulars and dredging far in the search for nuggets that support the diversâ€™ agendas, the ecosystem of the painting is dismantled; and so, the fragile equilibrium that kept those recognizable images alive and in constant evolution with all aspects of the paintings is destroyed. In exchange, the diver rises with a pile of junk less relevant to the world of the painting than to his or her ongoing accumulation of ruins and relics. These ruins and relics are-unlike the ecosystem where they once lived-easy to see and talk about. Everyone has something to say when the complexity of the living has been reduced to the manageable Sigmund Freud, A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, G. Stanley Hall, trans. and preface (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922). 6
simplicity of the dead. Who is not able to be a pundit on politics or race or historical influences or cultural and artistic associations? A surface of paint accepts everyone and everything, but a painting that exists in the world of loss, love, and meaning as something other than an artifact trapped in an epoch is as mad of a pursuit as the whale. The demented spirit that drives any effort to wrest meaning from cotton, oil, and powders is what keeps one of our legs in the Pequod and the other-the good one-in the Rachel, despite the inevitability of failure and demise, and the crop of inextinguishable regrets. Painting does not exist in an emotional vacuum. Its meaning and purpose, like ours, depends on love. Love doesn’t overcome the fate of the chase or the gaping hole in the middle of things, but it does make the present-this edge of nothingness that is the moment-meaningful. It is not meaningful on the scale of stars or even whales, but making something where there was nothing is redemption nonetheless. It might very well be another rage, another monomaniacal dream, another search for completeness, except that meaning lights the immense darkness in a way that revenge and hatred and compensation do not, and this is enough of a difference. In this light, we can see another life. THE OTHER LIFE When our attention is on the undeniably concrete aspects of our life that revolve around matter, insisting on its thingness, as well as around social conventions, electric bills, and animal needs, the canopy of stars above us, with all its immensity and fantastic physics, seems to have nothing to do with us. We trust the tangible even though our judgment of tangibility depends on faulty intuitions. But the more we consider what we initially judged as concrete, the more we sense secrets rumbling under the surface, and then life recovers the mystery and the immensity of the stars above. At the heart of its mystery and immensity is the enigma of life’s singularity, which brings about many questions. Is this moment the way it had to be? What if things are not what I think they are? What would another life be? This last question, which ultimately includes the other two, is the one I have been thinking about for a while. The other life is nowhere and everywhere. It glows in the crack between things, and it is also the firmament against which we navigate our life. It is a premonition, a promise, a denial, and an archaic ruin irretrievably in the past. It is letters that were never sent, the hands of the old woman who caresses her pillow, the scar tissue where the limb was lost. What is Ahab’s other life and what is mine? Maybe there are an infinite number of them, each split from ours at some point, in the way a branch divides itself from the trunk. Sometimes it seems that what we are is not only our life, so unknown in itself, but the sum of all these branching, uncharted lives that emerged from the choices we didn’t make, the doors we didn’t see, the other things that could have happened if the conditions would have been different. Each moment is full of possibilities, a bit of will, and a lot of randomness that decides the course of actions, and also what will lay dormant and what will not. We move forward, sensing a similar movement in parallel lives originated from all the unexplored possibilities.
I go to those choices, those events, and those images in which the other lives reveal themselves: sometimes disruptions in the everyday, sometimes as mounting consequences about to shatter orders we value. I dwell on those moments that are aftermaths of some unknown step. I see them not with longing or with melancholy, but with resignation, and wonder towards a world I find increasingly mysterious. Perhaps Conrad is right: the most we can hope from life is some knowledge of ourselves—that comes too late. A crop of unextinguishable regrets; but even when the knowledge of ourselves is postponed, and regrets mount, the other life refuses to be banished. It exerts a force on the present, reorganizes and disrupts. The other life surprises us in the wilderness with the image of what we were or could have been. A long-forgotten dog fetches an apple basket, and we ask, “Why did you fetch that? I was trying to forget it.” But we know he fetched it because the other life is in that basket. That basket of apples glows with the alluring and dangerous red of ripeness that brings us back to the old kitchen table, and also to that first garden to which we can never return. Another basket, one of pine cones, remnants of the forest in which we dwelled, offers us echoes of the garden again. Pine cones still in embers are the memories of where we were, and a basket of them is the uncomfortable and unstable marriage of nature—chaotic, random, and impassive—and our need for order. Nature’s exuberance exalts and clarifies, but it also overwhelms plans and paths. Like Ahab, we will lose all that we value in the unfathomable depths of nothingness, but, perhaps, we can slow our monomaniacal pursuit by recognizing the richness of the present. Maybe the other life is of aims we give ourselves to wrest meaning from a meaningless and aimless universe, but whether we are destined to pyrrhic victories or real ones (what are they?), the recognition of ourselves in the chase and as the chase may redeem the whole pursuit. Chasing the whales of adulthood or the hares of childhood will mark us in ways that will never allow us to be the same again. The markings left by the trajectory of our aims are the history-scars that remind us that however arbitrary our hopes and aspirations have been, we are them.
The Choice, 2017 Oil and wax on canvas 66 x 72 in. / 168 x 183 cm
The Visit, 2018 Watercolor on paper 13 x 17.25 in. / 33 x 44 cm
The Wisdom of After (II), 2017 Watercolor on paper 12 x 15.5 in. / 31 x 39 cm
The Wisdom of After, 2018 Oil and wax on canvas 48 x 48 in. / 122 x 122 cm
The Beloved and Candles for the Journey, 2017 Oil and wax on canvas 45 x 50 in. / 114 x 127 cm
The Chase, 2018 Oil and wax on canvas 70 x 63 in. / 178 x 160 cm
The Promises, 2017 Watercolor on paper 20 x 13.75 in. / 51 x 35 cm
The Song of Grasses, 2018 Oil and wax on canvas 50 x 40 in. / 127 x 102 cm
The Wanted Freedom (Black Milk), 2017 Oil and wax on canvas 116 x 150 in. / 295 x 381 cm
The Dwelling, 2018 Oil and wax on canvas 50 x 40 in. / 127 x 102 cm
The Ice-Voices, 2018 Watercolor on paper 18 x 14.25 in. / 46 x 36 cm
The Latecomer, 2018 Oil and wax on canvas 63 x 70 in. / 160 x 178 cm
ENRIQUE MARTINEZ CELAYA SELECTED COLLECTIONS
ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS AND EDUCATION
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts, University of Southern California, 2017-present
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dartmouth College, 2016-2017 Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, 2014-present
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting Presidential Professor, University of Nebraska, 2007–2010
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Associate Professor, Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University, 1994-2003
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida The Wieland Collection, Smyrna, Georgia Tuscon Museum of Art, Tuscon, Arizona University of California, Los Angeles, California
MFA, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1994 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1994 MS, Quantum Electronics, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
BS, Applied Physics, Cornell University, 1986
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Germany The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon Strandverket Konsthallen, Marstrand, Sweden Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina The Colorado Collection, Boulder, Colorado Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota US Bank, Minneapolis, Minnesota Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawai’i
2018 Galleri Andersson/Sandström, The Other Life, Stockholm, Sweden 2017 Jack Shainman Gallery, The Gypsy Camp, New York, New York Galerie Judin, The Mirroring Land, Berlin, Germany Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Nothing That Is Ours, Miami, Florida 2016 The Phillips Collection, One-on-One: Enrique Martínez Celaya/Albert Pinkham Ryder, Washington, D.C. Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Small Paintings: 1974- 2015, Birmingham, Alabama Parafin, Self and Sea, London, United Kingdom Baldwin Gallery, Self and Land, Aspen, Colorado 2015 Jack Shainman Gallery, Empires: Land and Empires: Sea, New York, New York L.A. Louver, Lonestar, Venice, California 2014 Hood Art Museum, Dartmouth College, Burning as It Were a Lamp, Hanover, New Hampshire Galleri Andersson/Sandström, A Wasted Journey, A Half-finished Blaze, Umeå, Sweden Parafin, The Seaman’s Crop, London, United Kingdom
Neues Stadtmuseum der Stadt Landsberg/Lech, Germany
2013 Strandverket Konsthall, The Tower of Snow, Marstrand, Sweden
Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa
SITE Santa Fe, The Pearl, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York
Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Burning as It Were a Lamp, Miami, Florida
Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, California Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, Indiana
2012 The State Hermitage Museum, The Tower of Snow, St. Petersburg, Russia L.A. Louver, The Hunt’s Will, Venice, California
Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Roadhome, Stockholm, Sweden Galería Joan Prats, El cielo de invierno, Barcelona, Spain 2011 Miami Art Museum, Schneebett, Miami, Florida L.A. Louver Gallery, Wormwood, Venice, California Liverpool Street Gallery, The Cliff, Sydney, Australia 2010 Simon Lee Gallery, The Open, London, United Kingdom Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, The Crossing, New York, New York Baldwin Gallery, The Palace, Aspen, Colorado 2009 Akira Ikeda Gallery, An Empty Space, New York, New York Sara Meltzer Gallery, Down With Me, New York, New York Boca Raton Museum of Art, An Unfinished Conversation: Collecting Enrique Martínez Celaya, Boca Raton, Florida 2008 L.A. Louver, Daybreak, Venice, California Liverpool Street Gallery, The Lovely Season, Sydney, Australia 2007 Miami Art Museum, Nomad, Miami, Florida Akira Ikeda Gallery, Six Paintings on the Duration of Exile, Taura, Japan John Berggruen Gallery, For two Martinson poems, poorly understood, San Francisco, California Sara Meltzer Gallery, Awaiting a second plan, New York, New York 2006 Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Schneebett, Leipzig, Germany Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Coming Home, Lincoln, Nebraska 2005 Oakland Museum of California, Enrique Martínez Celaya. Works on Paper, Oakland, California Brauer Museum of Art, Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Photographs, Valparaiso, Indiana Akira Ikeda Gallery, Shore: “Is today yesterday?” (Part I), Berlin, Germany Griffin Contemporary, Shore: “Is today yesterday?” (Part II), Santa Monica, California 2004 Berliner Philharmonie, Schneebett, Berlin, Germany Colorado University Art Museum, Poetry in Process, Boulder, Colorado Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, The October Cycle, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2003 John Berggruen Gallery, Recent Paintings, San Francisco, California Sheldon Museum of Art, University of NebraskaLincoln, The October Cycle, Lincoln, Nebraska
2002 Massachusetts College of Art, Enrique Martínez Celaya: 1992-2000, Boston, Massachusetts Griffin, Enrique Martínez Celaya, Santa Monica, California 2002 Danese Gallery, Enrique Martínez Celaya, New York, New York 2001 The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Enrique Martínez Celaya: 1992- 2000, Honolulu, Hawai’i The Orange County Museum of Art, Enrique Martínez Celaya: 1992-2000, Newport Beach, California Von der Heydt-Museum, Enrique Martínez Celaya, Wuppertal, Germany 2000 Griffin, Coming Home, Venice, California Rena Bransten Gallery, Paintings of Mercy, San Francisco, California Galería Ramis Barquet, Pinturas de merced, Monterrey, Mexico 1999 Andrew Mummery Gallery (at St. Pancras Chambers), The Field, London, United Kingdom 1998 Galerie Bäumler, Recent Works, Regensburg, Germany Luigi Marrozzini Gallery, Enrique Martínez Celaya, San Juan, Puerto Rico Griffin, Enrique Martínez Celaya, Venice, California Baldwin Gallery, New Work, Aspen, Colorado 1997 Burnett Miller Gallery, Redemption, Santa Monica, California 1996 Bronx Museum of the Arts, Recent Work, Bronx, New York 1995 Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, Lions of Frosting, Santa Monica, California 1994 University Art Museum, University of California, Black Paintings, Santa Barbara, California SELECTED HONORS AND FELLOWSHIPS Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow, University of Southern California, 2017 Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, 2014 Cecil and Ida Green Honors Chair, Texas Christian University, 2014 Knight Foundation Grant, 2013 Visiting Presidential Professor, University of Nebraska, 2007-2010 National Artist Award, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, 2007 California Community Foundation Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, 2001 Young Talent Award, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1998
BIBLIOGRAPHY Selected Books and Monographs Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Mirroring Land. Berlin: Galerie Judin, 2017. Texts by Pay Matthis Karstens and Annette Dorgerloh. Enrique Martínez Celaya: Small Paintings 19742015. Birmingham: Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 2016. Text by Lisa Tamiris Becker. Martínez Celaya, Work and Documents 1990-2015. Santa Fe: Radius Books, 2016. Texts by Daniel A. Siedell and Enrique Martínez Celaya. Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Tower of Snow. Miami: Miami-Dade College in collaboration with Whale & Star Press, 2016. Texts by Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, Carlos Eire, and interview with Jeremy Mikolajczak. Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Pearl. Santa Fe: Radius Books, 2013. Text by Irene Hofmann. Enrique Martínez Celaya: Working Methods/Métodos de trabajo. Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2013. Texts by Mary Rakow and Matthew Biro. An Unfinished Conversation: Collecting Enrique Martínez Celaya. Boca Raton: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 2009. Texts by Martin Brest, Wendy Blazier, and Daniel A. Siedell. Daybreak. Venice: LA Louver Gallery, 2009. Text by Enrique Martínez Celaya. The Lovely Season. Sydney: Liverpool Street Gallery, 2008. Text by Enrique Martínez Celaya. The Return of the Storks. Berlin: Akira Ikeda Gallery, 2008. Text by Lorie Karnath with illustrations by Enrique Martínez Celaya. Nomad. Delray Beach: Miami Art Museum in collaboration with Whale & Star Press, 2007. Another Show for the Leopard. Aspen: Baldwin Gallery, 2007. Poetry and Process. Boulder: CU Art Museum, 2007. Text by Lisa Tamiris Becker. Martínez Celaya: Early Work. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2006. Texts by Daniel A. Siedell, Thomas McEvilley, John Felstiner, Christian Williams and Enrique Martínez Celaya.
Pinturas de Merced. Monterrey, Mexico and New York: Galería Ramis Barquet, 2000. Text by Charles Merewether. Enrique Martínez Celaya: Works on Paper and Poems. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Luigi Marrozzini Gallery and Santa Monica: Griffin Contemporary, 1998. The Black Paintings: Poems and Visual Works. Santa Barbara: University Art Museum, 1994. Books by the Artist On Art and Mindfulness, Notes from the Anderson Ranch. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press in collaboration with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, 2015. Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990-2010: Enrique Martínez Celaya. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010. The Nebraska Lectures, 2007-2010. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010. The Blog: Bad Time for Poetry. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2009. Guide. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press, 2002. October. Amsterdam: Cinubia, 2001. Berlin. Los Angeles: Stephen Cohen Gallery and William Griffin Editions, 1998. Selected Publications of Whale & Star Press (Founded by Martínez Celaya in 1998) On Art and Mindfulness, Notes from the Anderson Ranch. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press in collaboration with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, 2015. Joy Goswami: Selected Poems. Miami: Whale & Star Press, 2014. Text by Roald Hoffmann. Cowboy Junkies: Nomad. Miami: Whale & Star Press, 2012. Texts by Michael Timmins and Rick Wallack. Intimations, Selected Poems by Anna Akhmatova. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2009. The Blog: Bad Time for Poetry. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2009. Modernist Archaist. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2008.
The October Cycle. Seattle: Marquand Books; Published in association with Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2003. Texts by Daniel A. Siedell and Enrique Martínez Celaya.
Nomad. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press in collaboration with Miami Art Museum, 2007.
All the field is ours. Santa Monica: Griffin Contemporary, 2003. Text by Thomas McEvilley.
XX Cowboy Junkies. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2006.
Enrique Martínez Celaya, 1992-2000. Cologne: Wienand Verlag, 2001. Texts in English and German by Charles Merewether, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Howard N. Fox, Rosanna Albertini, Judson J. Emerick, Arden Reed, and Colette Dartnall.
Martínez Celaya: Early Work. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2006. Text by Daniel A. Siedell, Thomas McEvilley, Christian Williams, Enrique Martínez Celaya and John Felstiner, 2006.
Amerika–Europa: Ein künstlerischer Dialog. Wuppertal, Germany: Von der Heydt-Museum, 2001. Texts by Sabine Fehlemann, Peter Frank, Pontus Hultén, Dieter Rosenkranz, Klaus Weber, Wulf Herzogenrath, Marlene Baum, and Charles Merewether.
The Conversations. Delray Beach: Whale & Star Press, 2007.
Guide. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press, 2002. Published in collaboration with Griffin Editions and Mark Hasencamp. Text and Photographs by Enrique Martínez Celaya. Volume I (the text) 140 pages. Volume II (a suite of 10 original black and white photographs). Edition of 60. Sketches of Landscapes. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press, 2002. Edited with commentaries by Enrique Martínez Celaya.
Selections from Les Fleurs du mal. Venice: Whale & Star Press, 2001. Joseph Beuys, Multiples and Other Forms of Politics. Venice: Whale & Star Press, 2001. Texts by Beatrice Foessel and Johannes Stuettgen. Unbroken Poetry: The Work of Enrique Martínez Celaya. Venice: Whale & Star Press, 1999. Text by Anne Trueblood Brodzky. SELECTED PUBLIC LECTURES Fisher Museum of Art, University of Southern California. “In Conversation: Enrique Martínez Celaya with Dan McCleary and Demián Flores.” 25 February 2018, Los Angeles, California. University of Southern California, “Enrique Martínez Celaya in conversation with Graciela Iturbide.” 16 October 2017, Los Angeles, California. Denver Art Museum, 10th Anniversary Logan Lecture. “Work and Ideas: 1990-2017.” 27 September 2017, Denver, Colorado. Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Chairman’s Choice Lecture. “The Artist: Conscience in the Age of Cynicism.” 5 July 2017, Aspen, Colorado. Aspen Center for Physics, Heinz R. Pagel Physics Lecture Series. “Reflecting on Art and Physics.” July 2017, Aspen, Colorado. Dartmouth College, Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture. “The Artist: Conscience in the Age of Cynicism.” 8 May 2017, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth College, Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture, “Don’t Be Great Again: Art, Education, Disillusionment and Potentiality.” 17 April 2017, Hanover, New Hampshire. Vermont Studio Center, Visiting Artist Lecture, “Work: 1990-2017.” 10 April 2017, Johnson, Vermont. Kansas City Art Institute, Keynote Speech for the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) 16th Biennial conference “Beyond the Core.” 6 April 2017, Kansas City, Kansas Dartmouth College, Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture, “State of the Artist.” 20 October 2016, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth College, Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture, “The Studio is Not a Factory.” 22 September 2016, Hanover, New Hampshire. Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Chairman’s Choice Lecture, “Work 1990-2016.” 30 June 2016, Aspen, Colorado. New York Public Library, An Artist Dialogue Series Event, “Art and Mindfulness.” 5 April 2016, New York, New York. Naropa University, sponsored by Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, “Work 1990-2016.” 21 June 2016, Boulder, Colorado. Santa Fe University of Art and Design, sponsored by SITE Santa Fe in conjunction with the exhibition, The Pearl, “The Pearl and the Total Work of Art.” 1 October 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
University of Michigan, “The Tower of Snow: A Story of Process.” 29 March 2013, Ann Arbor, Michigan. New York Studio School. Lecture presented in conjunction with the Featured Artist Lecture Series, 6 March 2011, New York, New York. University of California Santa Barbara, “On Worth.” 19 April 2011, Santa Barbara, California. Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Featured Artists Lecture Series, “On Worth.” 23 June 2011, Aspen, Colorado. Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum. Lecture presented as part of Art Basel’s Official Annual Event, “Breakfast in the Park”, 5 December 2010, Miami, Florida. Museum of Biblical Art, Lecture presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Wanderer: Foreign Landscapes of Enrique Martínez Celaya, 4 November 2010, New York, New York. School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lecture cosponsored by the Department of Art History and the Department of Painting and Drawing, 29 October 2010, Chicago, Illinois. Sheldon Museum of Art, “On Painting.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, 21 April 2009, Lincoln, Nebraska. Published in Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990-2010: Enrique Martínez Celaya. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010, 240-247. Joslyn Art Museum, “The Prophet.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, 2 October 2009, Omaha, Nebraska. Published in Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990-2010: Enrique Martínez Celaya. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010, 231-239. Published in Psychological Perspectives, A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought. Los Angeles: C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Volume 59, Issue 2, 2016. University of Nebraska-Omaha, “Art & the University.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, 7 April 2009, Omaha, Nebraska. Kaneko, “Systems, Time and Daybreak.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, 7 October 2008, Omaha, Nebraska. Sheldon Museum of Art, “Art and Museums.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, 15 April 2008, Lincoln, Nebraska. Originally published as “The Parting of the Exemplary Museum,” works + conversations, 15 November, 2007: 34-35, 45; and as “Now What?” Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 41 No. 2, Summer 2007: 17-21. Miami Art Museum, “Photography as Grief.” 8 December 2006, Miami, Florida.
Sheldon Museum of Art, “Photography as Grief.” Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska. Published as “Photography as Grief (Fragments)” artUS, 24/25 (Fall/Winter 2008): 68-71. Also published in Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990-2010: Enrique Martínez Celaya. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010, 141-146. UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, “Art and Compassion.” Lecture presented in conjunction with the traveling exhibition The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, 2006. Published as “A Personal Note on Art and Compassion,” works + conversations, No. 14 (May 2007), 10 April 2007: 24-25. Education Summit, Hope Center, “Idea Generation: Currency for the Knowledge Economy The Fuzzy Boundary: Science and Art.” 14 November 2005, Richmond, Virginia. American Academy in Berlin, Berliner Philharmonie. Lecture co-sponsored by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, the Forum Zukunft Berlin, and the American Academy in Berlin, 19 October 2004, Berlin, Germany. Aspen Institute, “Poetry and Process.” Lecture presented in conjunction with the exhibition Poetry in Process at the CU Art Museum, Boulder, Colorado, 2004, Aspen, Colorado. New York University, “New Work.” 2002, New York, New York. University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Artist Lecture. Lecture given in conjunction with Martínez Celaya’s appointment Distinguished Visiting Artist, September 2001, Honolulu, Hawai’i. Orange County Museum of Art, 4 December 2001, Newport Beach, California. An earlier version was presented at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 4 September 2001. Both lectures were given on the occasion of the travelling exhibition, Enrique Martínez Celaya: 1992-2000.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, The Other Life by Enrique Martínez Celaya at Galleri Andersson/Sandström in Stockholm, May 3 - June 2, 2018 All paintings © Enrique Martínez Celaya Text by Enrique Martínez Celaya Design by Studio Enrique Martínez Celaya Courtesy Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Stockholm/Umeå www.gsa.se www.martinezcelaya.com
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The Other Life by Enrique Martínez Celaya