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Enrique Martínez Celaya

Enrique Martínez Celaya served as the Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist from September 17-21, 2018. Martínez Celaya is an artist and former scientist whose work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world, as well as the author of books and papers in art, poetry, philosophy, and physics. He has created projects and exhibitions for the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), The Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.), and the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, among many others, as well as for institutions outside of the art world, including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (New York), and the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery (Berlin). His work is held in public collections internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Moderna Museet (Stockholm); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig; and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, Connecticut).

Martínez Celaya was born in Cuba and raised in Spain and Puerto Rico. He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12 and developed what became an enduring interest in writing and philosophy in the turbulent Puerto Rican cultural and political environment of the 1970s. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with a minor in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Science with a specialization in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regents Fellow. He conducted part of his graduate research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and while there, he painted the Long Island landscape.

He has published scientific papers on superconductivity and lasers and is the inventor of several patented laser devices. He has lectured at venues around the world including the New York Public Library, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Aspen Institute. He is an artist advisor at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and previously served on its Board of Trustees.

Martínez Celaya 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.

About the artist

Editions from this project