MARTÍN RAMÍREZ
1895-1963 (MEXICO)

Ramírez is simply one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. The more we know, the
clearer it becomes that we are just beginning to fathom his extraordinary achievement.

ROBERTA SMITH, NEW YORK TIMES

Biography
Cited by many as the most influential of self-taught American modernists, Martín Ramírez assembled not just one of most significant bodies of material in the 20th century canon, but one of the foremost by any Latin American artist of any era.

This achievement is all the more profound if one considers the context. Ramírez was just one of thousands of illegal refugees, fleeing Mexico to seek employment during the Great Depression. For him, as with so many of his countrymen, the desire to feed a family soon led to homelessness, isolation and institutionalisation. Martín Ramírez was never to see his wife and children again.

Instead, the artist began to draw impossible architectures, swirling landscapes and heroic pioneers. His homeland evolved into an abstracted dreamworld of border crossings, elongated horizons and deconstructed tunnels. Caballeros, male and female, towered over vertiginous hilltops, unable to stop the high-speed trains and vehicles hurtling by. Yet this was a man with no formal art training. The scale and effortless complexity was astonishing.

It was Tarmo Pasto, a local art educator, who brought Ramírez’s interior geographies into cultural society. He encouraged the artist during his lifetime, bringing materials to the humble hospital studio and introduced his draughtsmanship to artists like Wayne Thiebaud and Jim Nutt.

Since then, Ramírez has enjoyed retrospectives at Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (1989) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010), curated by Smithsonian director Lynne Cooke. He is a key artist in Kasper KÖNIG's seminal The Shadow of the Avant-Garde at the Museum Folkwang, Essen (2015) and will also be seen at The Metropolitan Museum, NYC and LACMA, LA in 2017.

The Gallery of Everything is proud to present a series of masterworks by this highly regarded art-ist, sourced in collaboration with the Ramírez estate. This inaugural UK exhibition also features the largest work ever created by the artist, which is intended for museum collections only.

Literature

CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING #6, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2016

MARTIÍN RAMÍREZ, VÍCTOR ESPINOSA (UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRESS) 2015

AMERICAN FOLK ART: A REGIONAL REFERENCE, KRISTIN CONGDON AND KARA KELLEY HALLMARK (ABC-CLIO) MARCH 2012

MARTIÍN RAMÍREZ: REFRAMING CONFINEMENT, LYNNE COOKE (PRESTEL) 2010

EVERYTHING #1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING
(ELECTA) 2010

MARTIÍN RAMÍREZ: THE LAST WORKS, RICHARD RODRIGUEZ AND WAYNE THIEBAUD (POMEGRANATE COMMUNICATIONS) 2008

MARTIÍN RAMÍREZ – EXHIBITION CATALOG, BROOKE DAVIS ANDERSON, FOREWORD BY MARIA ANN CONELLI AND INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT STORR (MARQUAND BOOKS) 2007

AMERICAN ANTHEM, BROOK DAVIS ANDERSON (HARRY ABRAMS) 2001

MARTIN RAMIREZ: PINTOR MEXICANO, ELSA WEINER (FUNDACION CULTURAL TELEVISA) 1989

THE PROBLEM OF MARTIÍN RAMÍREZ, MICHAEL HALL (THE CLARION) 1986

A CHILD’S COMFORT, BRUCE JOHNSON (MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART) 1977





 

Exhibitions

Exhibition #6, The Museum of Everything (Rotterdam) 2016

The Shadow of the Avant-Garde, Museum Folkwang (Essen) 2015

Top Drawer, High Museum of Art (Atlanta) 2014

Great and Mighty Things, Philadelphia Museum of Art 2013

Exhibition #1.1, The Museum of Everything, Chalet Society (Paris) 2012-13

Accidental Genius, Milwaukee Art Museum 2012

Martín Ramírez: Reframing Confinement, Reina Sofía (Madrid) 2010

Exhibition #1, The Museum of Everything 
(London) 2009

Martín Ramírez: The Last Works, AFAM (NYC) 2008

Martín Ramírez, San Jose Museum of Art + Milwaukee Art Museum 2007

Inner Worlds Outside, La Caixa (Madrid) + Whitechapel (London) + IMMA (Dublin) 2006

Dubuffet and Art Brut, Museum Kunstpalast (Düsseldorf) + LaM (Lille) 2005

Parallel Visions, LACMA (Los Angeles) + Reina Sofía (Madrid) + Kunsthalle (Basel) 1992

Martín Ramírez: Pintor Mexicano, Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico
City) 1989

The Heart of Creation, Moore College (Philadelphia) + Milwaukee Art Museum 1985