Enrique Martínez Celaya


Enrique Martínez Celaya

Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017

Enrique Martínez Celaya

352 pages
75 illustrations


January 2020


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

January 2020


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

January 2020


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

This collection, spanning nearly a decade of artistic activity, features selections of writings that trace the intellectual influences and track the development of one of the more formidable and productive minds in the contemporary art world. The writings comprise Enrique Martínez Celaya’s public lectures; essays; interviews; correspondence with artists, critics, and scholars; artist statements; blog posts; and journal entries. 

These texts were written during Martínez Celaya’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska; Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College; and, most recently, as the first Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California. Marked by Martínez Celaya’s encyclopedic curiosity and considerable knowledge about the world, these writings and interviews explore the role of art in life, evaluate texts by other modern and contemporary artists and thinkers, and reveal the artist’s deep engagement with artistic, philosophical, and literary lines of inquiry.

Author Bio

Enrique Martínez Celaya was trained as an artist as well as a physicist and currently works in painting, sculpture, photography, and writing. He is the author of numerous books, including On Art and Mindfulness; Enrique Martínez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990–2010 (Nebraska, 2010); and Martínez Celaya: Work and Documents, 1990–2015.


“The essays, lectures, and interviews in this volume provide a fascinating glimpse into the philosophical thought of an uncommonly reflective artist. It offers an exceptionally detailed account of how philosophical ideas and the process of artistic creation can be mutually enriching. This is a unique and valuable book.”—Kenneth Walden, assistant professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College

“This collection of writings is important, not for addressing a singular subject, but rather because of the diversity of thoughts that is offered. Enrique Martínez Celaya provides the reader with a range of subjects that tantalizes and leaves open new possibilities. For all readers, but particularly artists, he offers perspectives that are rarely articulated. His prose is reflective and expansive.”—Christina Gomez, professor of liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

“While tracing his various exhibitions and projects as they evolve from ideas to material realities during this turbulent decade, we discover Martínez Celaya wrestling with major themes of existential philosophy, such as doubt and resolve, youth and old age, and home and homelessness. And by engaging with European philosophy and world literature, he continuously questions the power of the artist—as well as the artist’s ability to stand alone—in a time of increasing consumerism and political propaganda.”—Matthew Biro, from his foreword to this book

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Artist as Writer and the Process of Art, by Matthew Biro    


Why Make Art?, 2010    
On Worth, 2011    
Thank You for the Not-Art, 2011    
Gesamtkunstwerk, 2011    
Notes, 2011    
On The Master, 2011    
Schneebett, 2011    
The Tower of Snow: A Story of Process, 2012    
From an Interview with Mary Rakow and Leo A. Harrington, 2012    
From a Video Entitled Enrique Martínez Celaya, 2012    
Journal, 2012    
Tuesday, April 3. “The Beginning”     
Monday, April 9. “A Primer on Freedom”    
Sunday, April 15. “Against the Odds”    
Monday, April 23. “Spirit of the Hive”    
Wednesday, May 16. “One Art”    
Monday, May 21. “Breakthroughs”    
Tuesday, June 5. “A Mole in the Sun”    
Thursday, June 7. “Road Home”    
Monday, June 11. “Insolence”    
Friday, July 13. “Authenticity and Drift”    
Sunday, August 5. “Not a Forest”    
Saturday, September 8. “Shown Rather than Told (I)”     
Thursday, September 20. “The Hunt’s Will”    
Sunday, October 28. “Like”    
Friday, November 2. “Therefore”    
Friday, December 14. “On Complaints about the Art Market”    
Saturday, December 15. “Wall Wisdom”    
Notes, 2012    
The Pearl and the Total Work of Art, 2013    
The Pearl: Between Life and Dreams: A Conversation between Enrique Martínez Celaya and Irene Hofmann, 2013    
From a Video Entitled The Pearl at SITE Santa Fe, 2013    
The Pearl, 2013    
Notes, 2013    
Journal, 2013    
Wednesday, January 2. “Alain-Fournier”    
Monday, February 25. “The Regret of the Mounting Dragon”    
Tuesday, March 12. “The Great Race”    
Thursday, May 2. “Why Don’t You Give It Away More Easily?”     
Friday, June 21. “The Pearl”    
Thursday, September 19. “Markets”    
Monday, November 4. “Burning as It Were a Lamp”    
Friday, November 8. “Empirical Evidence”    
Thursday, November 14. “Confetti Words and Dark Matter”    
Tuesday, November 19. “The Tide”    
Wednesday, December 18. “The Advice (Part I, to Be Continued)”     
On The Well, 2014    
From an Interview with Saul Ostrow, 2014    
Journal, 2014    
Wednesday, January 15. “A Wasted Journey, A Half-Finished Blaze”    
Sunday, August 24. “The Seaman’s Crop”    
Monday, September 22. “Seeing Things Differently (Part I)”     
Wednesday, September 24. “Seeing Things Differently (Part II)”     
Tuesday, September 30. “Seeing Things Differently (Part III)”     
Monday, November 17. “The Frog King”    
Tuesday, December 9. “Desert Places”    
Notes, 2014    
The Child with the Mirror, 2014    
Section Introductions from Martínez Celaya: Work and Documents 1990–2015, 2015    
Why?, 2015    
Excerpts from On Art and Mindfulness, 2015    
Afterword from On Art and Mindfulness, 2015    
Lone Star, 2015    
Lone Star I    
Lone Star II    
Lone Star III    
From a Conversation with Sebastián Martínez Celaya, 2015    
Journal, 2015    
Monday, January 26. “The Question of Place”    
Wednesday, February 4. “To Do”    
Monday, February 9. “Work”    
Friday, February 20. “The Juniper Tree”    
Monday, April 13. “Selling Out”    
Thursday, April 30. “Fluid Dynamics”    
Monday, June 22. “One Reason to Stay In”    
Wednesday, October 14. “The Captain”    
Wednesday, November 11. “More Welders and Fewer Philosophers”    
Tuesday, November 24. “Courage and Desperation”    
Empires, 2015    
Empires I: Beginnings    
Empires II: The Shore    
Empires III: The Lions    
Empires IV: Cowboy Junkies’ “Staring Man”    
Empires V: The Dresser    
Empires VI: The Dream    
Empires VII: The Fridge    
Empires VIII: Misreadings and Searchings    
Empires IX: “Prodigal Son”    
Empires X: Drifting    
Empires XI: The Dream    
Empires XII: Endings    
A Footnote on Empires    
From an Interview with Robin Cembalest, 2015    
La Casa de Nueva Paz: A Proposal for Frieze London, 2015    
On The Fourth Angel, 2015    
What You Owe Yourself, 2015    
From an Interview with Boris Hirmas Said, 2016    
From an Interview with Ben Tufnell, 2016    
Journal, 2016    
Friday, February 26. “Portraits Antiportraits”    
Tuesday, April 12. “Superheroes”    
Sunday, May 8. “Heart, Hemingway, and the Iceberg”    
Tuesday, May 10. “The Collector (Not the John Fowles Novel)”     
Friday, October 28. “The Case for Not Answering a Call”    
Notes, 2016    
From an Interview with Hannah Silverstein, 2016    
Don’t Be Great Again: Art, Disillusionment, and Potentiality, 2017    
From an Interview with Chris Hedges, 2017    
From an Interview with Krista Tippett, 2017    
The Artist: Conscience in the Age of Cynicism, 2017    
Reflections on Slowness and Art, 2017    
Interview with Myself, 2017    
From an Interview with Klaus Ottmann, 2017    
From an Interview with Susan Delson, 2017    
From an Interview with Lilly Wei, 2017    
From an Interview with Osman Can Yerebakan, 2017    
Notes, 2017    
On Nothing That Is Ours, 2017    
Journal, 2017    
Thursday, April 13. “The Robot”    
Tuesday, August 1. “The Reader”    
Monday, August 14. “The Date”    
The Other Life, 2017    

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