Martín Ramírez. Reframing Confinement

Martín Ramírez. Reframing Confinement

Editorial: REINA SOFIA

Páginas: 202

Año: 2010

EAN: 9788480264136

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This catalogue puts into crisis Mexican Martín Ramírez’s historic condition as an outsider artist while taking a profound look to his biography, and analysing recurrent themes as well as his way to organise his own cosmos through representation. Ramírez was a self-taught artist and he was admitted to several psychiatric centres in the United States during the course of his life. The catalogue also includes some of the critical texts written during Ramírez’s life, and a re-edited version of Hal Foster’s ‘Blind Intuitions’, the starting point of this methodological revision, as it is a critic to the labelling of outsider, brut and naïf art.

Working with a limited range of materials and supplies, Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) created an astonishing oeuvre, over a period of some fifteen years, while an inmate of DeWitt State Hospital in Auburn, California. Ramírez made his art in a room that he shared with dozens of other men who were also confined on account of their mental and physical disabilities, and, perhaps, because they were homeless, impoverished, and unemployed. Ramírez’s workspace was in a corner of the ward. His drawings were placed underneath his mattress for safekeeping. His art supplies were stored in a bedside table. In this communal space, he embarked upon his self taught artistic endeavor. This act of creating within a culture of confinement marries him to a rich tradition of individuals who responded to the same impulse. Making art in prisons and asylums, and developing expressive formal and technical strategies specific to their constricted atmospheres, has proven a not uncommon reaction by inmates and patients from the late nineteenth category of art therapy; the work of the most significant – the most gifted and/or visionary – has been recognized under various rubrics: art brut, or “outsider”, or “self taught” art.

Lynne Cooke, Brooke Davis Anderson, Víctor M. Espinosa, James Lawrence, Tarmo Pasto, Roger Cardinal, Roberta Smith, Phyllis Kind, Peter Schjeldahl, Hal Foster