February 16 – March 12, 2022
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 16, 6-8PM
UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills
(Beverly Hills, CA – January 26, 2022) UTA Artist Space and Unit London are pleased to announce a new immersive environment by the celebrated Los Angeles-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya. The Rose Garden ambitiously brings together new paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, garments, and writing, inviting viewers to consider the self—both its promise and its threat—through the mystical divination of memory.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton (from Four Quartets
For over two decades, Martínez Celaya has explored the limitless connections between art, literature, philosophy, and science through his practice. In this new and multifaceted body of work, the artist uses T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets as an entry point to exploring our collective memory—something broader, more permanent, and more irreparable than individual memory, and which belongs to us all.
In this exhibition, as in past projects, Martínez Celaya again concerns himself with existential hunger, crisis, chaos, order, time, redemption, reality, and love—here tied together by the thread of Eliot’s words. As visitors enter UTA Artist Space’s main gallery, they will encounter Eliot’s poem written at their feet, and a series of large paintings depicting ice, sea, and fire, urging a meditation on the ever-changing, complicated nature of time and memory.
All three of UTA Artist Space’s galleries will be assumed by Martínez Celaya’s immersive environments, including a room of tears overlooked by a blood moon, photographs of gardens and bodies, a burnt figure on a seat of roses, a garment worn by love champions, and many other luminous chunks mined from life. Viewed collectively, these works and the artist’s concurrent solo exhibitions at Los Angeles museums—at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens; USC Fisher Museum of Art; and Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library—remind us of the power art has to change our perceptions of the world and of our inner selves.
“I have long-admired Enrique Martínez Celaya as an individual and an artist with great passion. He compellingly weaves grand philosophical ideas into his art and makes us see the world in new ways. UTA Artist Space and the city of Los Angeles are fortunate to have him,” said Arthur Lewis, UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Creative Director.
“Enrique is one of those rare artists who is more than simply an artist. As an author, poet, philosopher, and former scientist, Enrique is a polymath and someone who has always deeply inspired me. The times we live in make the stark atmosphere of his work more poignant than ever, but the fantasy in it also offers a timely sense of hope and promise for the future. Unit London is proud to be presenting this body of work in Los Angeles with UTA and nods to the resonant universality of Enrique’s practice,” said Jonny Burt, Unit London Co-Director.
ABOUT ENRIQUE MARTÍNEZ CELAYA
Enrique Martínez Celaya is an artist, author, and former scientist born in Cuba, raised in Spain and Puerto Rico, and who currently resides in Los Angeles. He has realized major exhibitions, projects, interventions, and social and intellectual interactions worldwide. His work has been exhibited and collected by institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford.
Martínez Celaya is the author of several books, including two volumes of his Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017 and 1990-2010, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020 and 2011; The Nebraska Lectures. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011; On Art and Mindfulness: Notes from the Anderson Ranch. Los Angeles: Whale & Star Press, 2016; October. Amsterdam: Cinubia Press, 2002. His work has been the subject of several monographic publications including Martínez Celaya, SEA SKY LAND: towards a map of everything and Enrique Martínez Celaya and Käthe Kollwitz: Von den ersten und den letzten Dingen. Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2021; Martínez Celaya, Work and Documents 1990-2015. Santa Fe: Radius Books, 2016; Enrique Martínez Celaya: Small Paintings 1974-2015. Birmingham: Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 2016; Enrique Martínez Celaya: Working Methods. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2012; Enrique Martínez Celaya, 1992-2000. Köln: Wienand Verlag, 2002.
Martínez Celaya holds the position of Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California. Previously, he held the academic posts of Roth Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College, Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska, and Associate Professor at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University.
He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12 and developed what was to become an enduring interest in writing and philosophy in the turbulent Puerto Rican cultural and political environment of the 1970s. He received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and 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. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and earned an MFA with the department’s highest distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was also a Regents Fellow and Junior Fellow of Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.
ABOUT UTA ARTIST SPACE
UTA Artist Space is an exhibition venue designed by Ai Weiwei in the heart of Beverly Hills that is committed to showcasing art by globally recognized talent. Since its establishment in 2016, UTA Artist Space has presented notable exhibitions with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, including Derrick Adams, Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Essence Harden, Larry Clark, Petra Cortright, Conrad Egyir, Amanda Hunt, Mariane Ibrahim, Arcmanoro Niles, The Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, The Haas Brothers, and Ai Weiwei, among others. UTAArtistSpace.com.
ABOUT UNIT LONDON
Since the brand’s inception in 2013, Unit London has established a global artistic platform for the world’s most distinctive emerging talent. In an often opaque and impenetrable art world, Unit London seeks to identify, cultivate, and expose works of art on a purely meritocratic basis. The gallery has successfully launched and advanced the careers of numerous important contemporary artists and remains a bastion of equity, innovation, and sustainability. Unit London prides itself on being an open and transparent institution whose purpose is to expand and diversify contemporary art audiences. In its reluctance to simply follow the traditional gallery formula, Unit London has become synonymous with the pioneering use of social media and digital marketing. The gallery endeavors to act as an orator and mediator: telling the story of today’s most gifted artists, whilst bridging the gap between the physical and virtual spheres of the art world; connecting people with the art they love.
All visitors will have to acknowledge both the health and safety guidelines and their health status before they visit. All visitors must wear a mask at all times. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site for guest usage. Guests must practice social distancing. There is ample signage throughout the space including arrows on the floor that tell guests which way foot traffic is flowing. Restrooms will be closed to guests and the Artist Space will be deep cleaned on a regular schedule following the close of business each day.
Vice President, Cultural Counsel
Associate Director, Cultural Counsel