Martín Ramírez

Martín Ramírez (Mexican-American, Outsider Art, 1895–1963)

Exhibition: Martín Ramírez Forever
March 26 – May 2, 2015
Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York, NY

On March 26, five United States Postal Service commemorative “forever” stamps were issued honoring Mexican-American artist Martín Ramírez.

Little was known of his work until recently, particularly following the 2007 American Folk Art Museum retrospective of his work. During his lifetime, while undergoing treatment for schizophrenia, he produced an incredible body of works, numbering approximately 300. Artworks were produced from pieced scrap papers from examining rooms, newspapers, brown paper bags, whatever was at hand; binder, mixing bowls were often made from potatoes, saliva, oatmeal. The result: a unique visual poetry of Mexican folk art and urban landscape imagery, simultaneously exacting and exuberant. From the confines and depths of his restricted physical existence exploded images of intense beauty, delicacy and buoyancy of spirit. Yet, always present, the unrelenting tracks, tunnels, stage-like constructs — perhaps evidence of a trapped mind searching for order where there is disorder, for a way out. His is authentic Outsider Art.


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I saw a good size exhibit of his a few years ago at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Beautiful & heartbreaking when you see how he fashioned the found materials into art pieces. More people should be aware of him.