Enrique Martínez Celaya is an artist and author who was also trained as a physicist. His work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world. He is the founder of Whale & Star Press and the author of books in philosophy, poetry, and art, as well as scientific papers. Martínez Celaya is the Roth Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College.
Having developed a practice influenced by and in dialog with literature and philosophy, Martínez Celaya has created projects and exhibitions for the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, among others, as well as for institutions outside of the art world, including the Freedom Tower in Miami, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, St. Mary’s Church in Limerick, Ireland, and the Berliner Philharmonie in Berlin, Germany. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., among others. Martínez Celaya was selected as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College and as the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Chair at Texas Christian University. 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. His work has been the subject of several monographic publications including Enrique Martínez Celaya, 1992-2000 (Wienand Verlag: Cologne, 2001), Enrique Martínez Celaya: Working Methods (Ediciones Polígrafa: Barcelona, 2013) and Martínez Celaya, Work and Documents 1990-2015 (Radius Books: Santa Fe, 2016).
Martínez Celaya is the author of On Art and Mindfulness: Notes from the Anderson Ranch, published by Whale & Star Press (Los Angeles) in collaboration with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center; Collected Writings and Interviews 1990-2010 and The Nebraska Lectures, both published by the University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln); October, published by Cinubia (Amsterdam); as well as the artist book Guide, which was later serialized by the magazine Works & Conversations (2002). As a physicist, Martínez Celaya published scientific papers on superconductivity and lasers, and is the inventor of several patented laser devices. He has worked in collaboration with scientists, entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, and architects, including the Canadian rock-band, Cowboy Junkies, the poet and Nobel-Prize-winning chemist, Roald Hoffmann, and the novelist Mary Rakow. Martínez Celaya has sponsored programs for children, assisted public schools in curricular development, and advised companies on creative practices. He has offered lectures at venues around the world including the American Academy in Berlin, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Aspen Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and New York University. In 1998, as an extension of his commitment to the education and formation of artists, Martínez Celaya founded Whale & Star Press, an imprint that publishes books on art, poetry, art practice, and critical theory.
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 received his Master’s in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley and pursued a Doctorate degree before abandoning physics for art. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and earned a Master of Fine Arts with the department’s highest distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Martínez Celaya taught as a tenured professor in the faculty of Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University and was honored as the second Presidential Professor in the history of the University of Nebraska.
Most recent publications include:
Enrique Martínez Celaya, 1992-2000 (Wienand Verlag: Cologne, 2001)
Enrique Martínez Celaya: Working Methods” (Ediciones Polígrafa: Barcelona, 2013)
Martínez Celaya: Work and Documents 1990-2015 (Radius Books: Santa Fe, 2016).
Martínez Celaya lives and works in Los Angeles, California.