Beethoven's Frigid Deathbed

An art installation based on the dying days of a German composer is not something we'd expect from an artist named Enrique Martínez Celaya. But the seed of this creation was planted in the artist's boyhood. Though born in Cuba and raised in Spain, Martínez Celaya at an early age became fascinated with German literature. But he thought a career in science "made more sense" for the son of a poor immigrant family. He studied applied physics and quantum electronics before his artistic inclination finally made him shift course. He is perhaps the only art student to pay his way through school by working as a laser scientist. Schneebett, German for "snow bed," is a three-part installation that conveys Ludwig van Beethoven's final moments. A bronze bed is covered in a thick layer of frost created by an elaborate compressor system. On the other side of the doorway sits a single chair from which the viewer can peer at the deathbed, made inaccessible by a pile of sticks. The installation is on view through January 1.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, noon. Starts: Oct. 13. Continues through Jan. 1, 2011


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