SELECTED ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS
The following brief selection of articles and reviews, arranged in reverse chronological order, offer an introduction to the work of Enrique Martínez Celaya. For additional bibliographical references see the CV.
GS: Your previous work has been characterised by a sombre darkness and introspection so I was very surprised by the work exhibited in The Lovely Season. This work has an incredible brightness and radiance, even a feeling of optimism. Is this a conscious change?
EMC: Some previous cycles were mostly black; when figures appeared they were in profile. There was little engagement or invitations to interact. The coming of these colourful paintings and world-life scenes is something I resisted for years. I often see the landscapes as indifferent to the horrors and beauty of human concerns. I think my interest is in the temporary in relation to the absolute, and the world-life scenes play a role in that.
RW: “What is the Good?” In a way, that’s the foundational question, as I hear you. And it’s not an abstract question, right? It cannot be an abstract question. When the question becomes abstract, when people speak of “the good” and there’s no connection with a real person, it becomes dangerous, it seems to me.
EMC: Being ethical away from the world is easier than in the world. I think some people see the path of abstraction as pure, uncompromised, but it could just be avoidance; artists who insist on removing their work from human struggles take a tidy path, which seems especially wasteful for those whose lives are in turmoil and confusion.
EMC: You have described the language of science as a language under stress and therefore poetic. Could you tell me more about this?
RH: The practice of science demands precise meanings. Which must be defined in beautifully imprecise words. Mathematical equations and chemical structures are required to be explained in words. All the time, new concepts, begging for new words, force themselves on us.
EMC: I do both, but I was referring to painting on top of them. But I do have an uneasy relationship with all the signifiers or all the things that reference emotion like erasures or transparencies or drips. They only survive in the paintings after a lot of internal reconciliation.
DB: I think that’s clear in your paintings. There is nothing that looks false in those paintings. I know exactly what you mean. I think maybe that’s the difference between a good painting and a bad painting, it is that level of conviction with which the painter can bring, just exactly, what you call signifiers. It’s easy to drip and it’s easy to scribble something out, but it’s really hard to do it in a way that means anything.