Enrique Martínez Celaya, “Roadhome”

Stockholm, 1.9–7.10  2012

Galleri Andersson/Sandström proudly opens this fall season with an exhibition by the internationally renowned, multi-faceted artist Enrique Martínez Celaya. Despite his longstanding fascination with Nordic literature and philosophy, he has never before exhibited in Sweden. The writings of Nobel laureate Harry Martinson are a constant source of inspiration for Martínez Celaya, which contributes in making this exhibition premiere particularly exciting.

Martínez Celaya’s creative starting point is an intellectual one, with strong influences from thinkers such as Tolstoy, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. No matter what medium or technique, the works of Martínez Celaya present to us austerely grandiose and symbol-laden landscapes, of almost cinematic dimensions. These are imaginary landscapes, yet they seem to embody the very spirit of the northern European winter. Martínez Celaya says: “These landscapes are familiar to me. They seem to embody the notions of isolation and hardship that I find resonant with my view of life and the choices I make”.

In this exhibition, entitled Roadhome, Martínez Celaya’s works emanate from a personal theme which has been permeating his work for quite some time. It deals with how the 1972 flight from Cuba changed his life, filling it with a constant sense of movement, a state of exile. The lost homeland is not primarily a place, but rather a time, which can never be recovered. The anguish it brings is a force in itself, which propels the revelation of the possibilities beyond it. Here, art can be a vehicle for the unveiling of a less cynical and more radiant world, a world which is mysterious, alive, and interconnected. Martínez Celaya says: “My paintings are simple. There is not much going on, but they are not about reductivism. If you engage them, maybe, something may be clear or mysterious, or both.” As an artist he does not claim to succeed in this unveiling, but he is striving towards it.

In the works of writers Albert Camus and Harry Martinson, he recognizes the ability to make home and road more than just words or philosophical pretensions. Martínez Celaya explains Roadhome as being “the making of a home of the journey, not because of some enlightened notion of journey as destination, but because the road reveals the stranger in oneself and once revealed it is only there, in that strangeness, that one can be true—or at least, semi-true.”

Enrique Martínez Celaya was born in 1964. As a child, his family fled from Cuba to Spain. After living in Puerto Rico for some time, he settled in the United States. He now lives in Miami. Despite early successes in science, with four patents in laser technology, Martínez Celaya left science behind in favor of the arts. His art is represented in 27 museum collections, at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig. His works are currently exhibited at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This is Enrique Martínez Celaya’s first exhibition with Galleri Andersson/Sandström. The exhibition catalogue Roadhome is produced on the occasion of this exhibition.