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SITE Santa Fe announces Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Pearl

SITE Santa Fe presents Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Pearl on July 13–October 13, 2013.

Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Pearl (in process, Miami studio), 2013. Courtesy of the artist.
Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Pearl (in process, Miami studio), 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

For this exhibition, Martínez Celaya transforms almost 12,000 square feet of SITE’s gallery spaces into an immersive environment that includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, waterwork, sound, and writing, as well as the artist’s first musical arrangement. This exhibition integrates and expands many of the elements and ideas that the artist has engaged with over the last several years. In The Pearl, the artist takes 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 invites movement through the galleries thus unfolding a multi-layered narrative where objects, images, and references are continuously reconsidered in a similar way that a piece of music, a film, or a novel are revealed in time.

In creating The Pearl, many materials and ideas come together as Martínez Celaya transforms the entire building into a work of art whose imagery point to the natural world and the everyday seen through the window of sorrow. But far from being a work of despair, the power of The Pearl resides precisely in its ability to reinvent loss as hope and the mundane as the fantastic. The artist has said, “a pearl grows from an irritation, a desire to seal the disturbance, and this a fitting way to look at much of what we do with our life, or to what our life has done with and to us.”

The exhibition weaves together music, sound, images of pine trees, the ocean and a German Shepherd, an elephant made of jewels, a burnt dining room set, and paintings of the past and the present to evoke a state of unbearable concreteness as well as fantasy, where brutality, imagination, memory, and longing become different facets of the same experience.

This installation will be accompanied by a documentary film on the making of The Pearl by Peter Kirby. The artist is also collaborating with Santa Fe-based Radius Books to produce a book related to the exhibition.

Artist talk and book signing on Tuesday, October 1, 6pm
Visit or call 505 989 1199 for tickets.

Enrique Martínez Celaya’s interdisciplinary practice, which encompasses painting, sculpture, photography and writing, is influenced by a wide array of interests including Nordic poetry, samurai mores, quantum physics, the emotional mechanisms of kitsch, analytic and continental philosophy, Latin American literature and everyday life. Martínez Celaya begins with the autobiographical to explore the universal. Although his figures echo archetype-like symbols alluding to larger existential concerns, the artist considers the subject matter the framework of his practice to be constantly evolving.

Martínez Celaya was trained as an artist and physicist. He earned a BS in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University, an MS in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA in Painting from the 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 several private and public collections including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. His Collected Writings and Interviews 1990–2010 was published by the University of Nebraska Press. Under the imprint Whale and Star Press, Martínez Celaya has published several books on art, poetry, art practice and critical theory.

Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Pearl is organized by Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe. The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the following lead sponsors: Karen & Steve Berkowitz; Cornelia Bryer & Herman Siegelaar; Terry Fassburg; Ann & Ron Pizzuti; and Mary Sloane & Andy Wallerstein, with additional support from sponsors Christine & Bill Aylward; Diane & Werner Grob; Nancy Ziegler Nodelman & Dwight Strong; and Marleen De Bode Olivié & Marc Olivié.

There will be a concurrent exhibition, Concepts and Studies for The Pearl at James Kelly Contemporary, from July 11 to August 17, 2013, with an opening reception on Thursday, July 11, from 5 to 7pm. The gallery is located at 550 South Guadalupe Street, in the Railyard District.

About SITE Santa Fe
SITE Santa Fe is located at 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. Hours: Thursday and Saturday 10am–5pm; Friday 10am–7pm; Sunday 12pm–5pm; closed Monday–Wednesday. Open Wednesdays in July and August. Free admission is offered on Fridays, made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston. Tours by SITE Guides are available free of charge to the public. SITE Santa Fe gift certificates are available. Call 505 989 1199 for more information.

SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hours: Thursday and Saturday 10am–5pm;
Friday 10am–7pm; Sunday 12pm–5pm;
closed Monday–Wednesday.
Open Wednesdays in July and August
Free admission on Fridays