The link of tree and sun

The link of tree and sun

2007
Artist
Enrique Martínez Celaya, Cuban, 1964
Born: Havana, Cuba
Work Locations: Los Angeles, CA
Country
Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Object
painting
Medium
Oil paint and wax on canvas
Accession Number
2011.367
Credit Line
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
(c) Enrique Martínez Celaya
Dimensions
height: 61 in, 154.9400 cm; width: 78 in, 198.1200 cm; depth: 1 1/2 in, 3.8100 cm
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art

Enrique Martínez Celaya is a scientist and a poet as well as an artist; he considers each of his vocations as a means of ordering and understanding life. His paintings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed-media works may be seen both as manifestations of his search for truth and as representing the on-going, cyclical processes of living and understanding. Especially for someone like Martínez Celaya, whose early years were imprinted with the violence of exile, life can be messy; his media, which combine traditional art materials with things like blood and tar, reflect this fact on a visceral as well as visual level.

Nature is a major theme in Martínez Celaya’s work. This focus is not surprising given the artist’s interest in science and nature. In “The Link of Tree and Sun,” -  a painting whose media, oil and wax, share roots in nature as well as the artistic tradition - the centered, upright tree seems to have taken the place of a human protagonist. Distant natural forces of life - the warming sun and the seed-covered winter tree - are linked to one another not only by the title, but by the mutual, reciprocal act of framing. Concentric circles of sunlight and the leafless tree bearing pinecones (which contain the promise of future trees) testify to the natural cycles of day and night, the seasons, life and death. 

Enrique Martínez Celaya was born in Havana, Cuba in 1964. Five years after the end of the Cuban Revolution, he immigrated to Spain in 1972. Three years later, he and his family moved to Puerto Rico. He holds a B.S. in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (1986), an M.S. in Quantum Physics from the University of California, Berkeley (1989), and a M.F.A. in Painting and Sculpture from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1994). 

Exhibition History
  • "Showing Off: Recent Modern and Contemporary Acquisitions"—Denver Art Museum [05/17/2015 - 01/03/2016]