July 13, 2024 | 2:00pm - 3:00 pm
The Wende Museum

Opening reception for Enrique Martínez Celaya’s sculpture “El trineo”

Please join us for the festive opening of El trineo, a sculpture by Enrique Martínez Celaya, in the Wende’s garden, with light refreshments and a speech by the artist.

About the artwork:

“On Christmas of 1967, my parents bought me a toy sleigh. In the Cuba of my childhood, where snow was as imaginary and foreign as Santa Claus, the sleigh represented the Land of Otherness. This land of Otherness was a place where people would go to and never come back, and where we would someday go as well. As such, the sleigh was a symbol of both our hope for a brighter future and a rejection of who we were. This duality between feeling-not-enough and hoping to be that other is a pervasive Caribbean ailment. Using my memories and biography as a point of departure, El trineo wavers between being a primary experience and being an allegory for the evolution of hopes and illusions that suggest connections between the personal, the familial, the political, and the physical.”

—Enrique Martínez Celaya

About the artist:

Enrique Martínez Celaya is an artist, author, and former physicist whose work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions worldwide. His notable projects and exhibitions include those at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy; the Berliner Philharmonie in Berlin, Germany; the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, Cuba; and the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig in Germany. His work is held in over sixty public collections internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Martínez Celaya is the first Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts in the history of the University of Southern California and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, where he was also a Roth Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar. He is the author of nine books on art, art practice, philosophy, and poetry.

From April 26–October 19, 2025, the Wende Museum will present the exhibition Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Sextant.

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