Aspen’s Baldwin Gallery opens a new exhibition next week called “A Third of the Night” by LA-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya. Martínez Celaya’s been a fixture in the Aspen arts scene over the years, and is known for his involvement with Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and exhibitions at the Baldwin Gallery. He’ll be back in Aspen when the Baldwin Gallery debuts his newest collection of paintings and sculpture on Friday, Feb. 12, and said it’s a kind of homecoming. It will also be his only exhibition in the United States this year.
Martínez Celaya was born in Cuba, and raised in Puerto Rico and Spain. Along with being an internationally celebrated artist, he is also a published writer, philosopher, and physicist. The 12 paintings and one sculpture encompassed in “A Third of Night” touch on the inflection points of life, loss and uncertainty, and longing for home. Martínez Celaya said those are concepts he has been examining for as long as he can remember.
“They’ve matured and deepened, but in some ways they’re the same concerns I had when I was a kid,” he said. “How do we make choices? How do we decide what’s important? What is our place in this large universe that we live in?”
He compiles translucent layers of oil and wax on canvas to create each piece, often watching the images evolve throughout the physical labor of his creative process. The exhibition title, “A Third of the Night,” was inspired by a passage in the Book of Revelations that details “a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.”
“That was interesting to me,” said Martínez Celaya. “The aspect of darkness and what it means when you no longer have light for a period and what it implies, sort of the mystery and confusion of that.”
The exhibition will be the eighth time Martínez Celaya has been featured at the Baldwin Gallery in downtown Aspen.
“We love having Enrique,” said the Baldwin Gallery’s director Kiki Raj. “His work is about his personal history and the impermanence of home and finding a place for yourself that a lot of people really respond to.”
The exhibition is open through March 14 at the Baldwin Gallery in downtown Aspen.