new-york

Martín Ramírez

American Folk Art Museum

This is the second large-scale survey of the work of Martín Ramírez; the first took place in Philadelphia in 1985. Twenty-two years ago, however, the artist’s name was spelled without accents. A small change, seemingly, but much depends on it. The difference between this Ramírez and the one we knew before is that identity politics have become part of the way we look at art. The old Ramírez was an American outsider whose works possessed, arguably, such autonomous strength that one could simply call him an artist, without further qualification, or perhaps with only the one qualification then still potentially synonymous with universality: modernist. That artist had in turn replaced the anonymous “incurable schizophrenic” whose name was not attached to the exhibitions of his work that took place during his lifetime, to protect his privacy. Today’s Ramírez, as presented by curator Brooke Davis

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