Enrique Martínez Celaya Biography

Working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation and printmaking, Enrique Martínez Celaya (born Cuba, 1964) has created an extensive body of work characterised by allusive complexity. Using simple compositions and quasi-archetypal images—including the sea, animals and birds, children, landscapes and symbols of domesticity such as chairs and tables—Martínez Celaya blends fantasy, reality, and memory to create a poetic world that is both semi-autobiographical and resonantly universal. The work is an open-ended search for meaning and significance, proceeding from the personal to the public, evolving as distinct but interconnected bodies of work in profound thematic constructions. Eschewing narrative and conventional interpretation Martínez Celaya's work thereby creates a matrix of rich conceptual possibilities and a striking openness to personal readings.

Read More

In addition to art historical reference points Martínez Celaya is influenced by a wide array of interests including poetry, quantum physics, the emotional mechanisms of kitsch, analytic and continental philosophy, Latin American literature and everyday life. Martínez Celaya begins with personal experience before enacting a research-led process to proceed towards and explore the universal. Although his figures echo archetype-like symbols alluding to larger existential concerns, the artist considers the subject matter of his practice to be fluid and constantly evolving.

In 2013, for his large exhibition The Pearl at Site Santa Fe, Martínez Celaya created an immersive environment that included painting, sculpture, video, photography, waterwork, sound, and writing, as well as the artist's first musical arrangement. In The Pearl, the artist took the notion of home as both a point of departure and a destination to craft a visual poem of strong emotional, philosophical and psychological resonance. The structure of the exhibition invited a specific movement through the galleries thus unfolding a multi-layered narrative where objects, images, and references were continuously reconsidered in a similar way that a piece of music, a film, or a novel are revealed in time.

Enrique Martínez Celaya was trained as an artist and physicist. He earned a BS in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University, a MS in Quantum Electronics from University of California Berkeley and a MFA in Painting from University of California, Santa Barbara. He has had solo exhibitions at the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, the Miami Art Museum, the Berliner Philharmonie and the Orange County Museum of Art, among others. His works are included in many private and public collections including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In 2010 his Collected Writings and Interviews 1990-2010, was published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Enrique Martínez Celaya
featured artworks

The Omen (Orange Lily) by Enrique Martínez Celaya contemporary artwork painting
Enrique Martínez Celaya The Omen (Orange Lily), 2023 Oil and wax on canvas
183 x 152 cm
Patricia Low Contemporary Request Price & Availability
The Omen (Narcissus) by Enrique Martínez Celaya contemporary artwork painting
Enrique Martínez Celaya The Omen (Narcissus), 2023 Oil and wax on canvas
183 x 152 cm
Patricia Low Contemporary Request Price & Availability
The Angel of Frost by Enrique Martínez Celaya contemporary artwork mixed media
Enrique Martínez Celaya The Angel of Frost, 2017 Oil and wax on canvas
78 x 100 inches
Jack Shainman Request Price & Availability

Enrique Martínez Celaya
recent exhibition

Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Enrique Martínez Celaya in
Ocula Magazine

Learn more about the market for works
by Enrique Martínez Celaya.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell

Enrique Martínez Celaya in
video & audio

Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Enrique Martínez Celaya
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login