ABOUT THE BOOK
Martínez Celaya: Work and Documents 1990-2015 is the most comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work to date.
In 1990 Enrique Martínez Celaya left a promising career in physics for art and since then he has pursued his work with a singular and uncompromising vision. Working in a variety of media and deeply engaged with philosophy, literature, and science, Martínez Celaya has created an expansive body of work that has led him to become one of his generation’s most influential artists. This publication, the product of extensive research from his studio’s archive, traces the development of Martínez Celaya’s thought through previously unpublished photographs; illustrations of hundreds of artworks; archival notes and writings; sketches and drawings for his public projects and exhibitions; excerpts from the critical reception of his work; and an insightful introduction to the artist’s work by art historian and long-time collaborator Daniel A. Siedell.
Martínez Celaya’s work examines the complexities and mysteries of individual experience, particularly in its relation to nature and time, and explores the question of authenticity revealed in the friction between personal imperatives, social conditions, and universal circumstances. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., among others. He has received the Knight Foundation Grant, the National Artist Award from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the California Community Foundation Fellowship, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, the Young Talent Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and he was a Regents Fellow of the University of California at both Berkeley and Santa Barbara.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Martínez Celaya was born in Cuba in 1964 and raised in Spain and Puerto Rico. He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12. He studied Applied & Engineering Physics at Cornell University and pursued a Ph.D in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley, before leaving physics for art. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Martínez Celaya taught as a tenured professor in the faculty of Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University, is a trustee of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and was honored as the second Presidential Professor in the history of the University of Nebraska. Martínez Celaya lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Daniel A. Siedell is a historian of modern art who has worked with Enrique Martínez Celaya on exhibitions and publishing projects for over fifteen years. From 1996–2007 he served as Chief Curator of the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to several books on modern and contemporary art and art criticism, his writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues and academic journals, such as The Journal of Modern Literature, Art Criticism, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Religion and the Arts, artUs, and Image. He holds a Ph.D. from The University of Iowa and an M.A. from Stony Brook University in art history, criticism, and theory.