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Enrique Martínez Celaya | Monterey Museum of Art

Courtesy of the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA

"The Fire of Heaven: Enrique Martínez Celaya and Robinson Jeffers presents the work of Los Angeles based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya in conversation with the work of twentieth century poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962). Spanning two decades of the artist’s career, this exhibition demonstrates the impact and longevity of Jeffers influence on Martínez Celaya’s practice. In 2021, Enrique Martínez Celaya completed an inaugural Fellowship at the poet’s landmark home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Tor House and Hawk Tower. The Fire of Heaven includes paintings and works on paper created during and in response to his stay.

Despite existing in different lifetimes, Jeffers’ approach to life as art and his reverence for the natural beauty of the Carmel – Big Sur coast, inextricably link the two creatives. Beyond these threads of commonality, Martínez Celaya draws from specific Jeffers’ writings, such as the 1928 poem, “The Summit Redwood,” which serves as the exhibition’s namesake and describes “the fire from heaven” as a force untamed and ignited at whim. This fervor and flame ebbs in and out of Martínez Celaya’s work, which includes twenty-eight original drawings, paintings, and one sculpture. The display is anchored by Jeffers’ handwritten poems, notes, and photographs, on loan from Occidental College. Grounded in the power of place and a shared pursuit for truth, this exhibition invites audiences to siphon the limitations of comparison and engage with of the elemental truths of art and existence.

Preceding The Fire of Heaven, Martínez Celaya has enjoyed a significant run of showings and solo exhibitions in Southern California including SEA SKY LAND: towards a map of everything at the USC Fischer Museum of Art, The Rose Garden at the UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills, a monumental installation at the Huntington Library Art, Museum, and Botanical Gardens, and an abbreviated version of The Fire of Heaven at USC’s Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library."

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