Alexander Gray Associates
Paul Ramírez Jonas
Art Nova Sector, Booth N5
Alexander Gray Associates returned to Art Basel Miami Beach to present a two-person exhibition showcasing two generations of Latin American conceptualism by artists Luis Camnitzer and Paul Ramírez Jonas.
Luis Camnitzer, a major figure in Latin American conceptual art, began exhibiting in the early 1960s in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Camnitzer was the subject of a major retrospective organized by the Daros Collection, Zurich (and touring to El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY in February, 2011). He is an influential figure for artists and historians exploring the intersections of political and conceptual art. Paul Ramírez Jonas emerged in the early 1990s in New York and has exhibited throughout Europe and the Americas. His work was the subject of a mid-career survey exhibition at IKON Gallery in 2004, and he will have a solo exhibition at the Pinacoteca Do Estado, São Paulo in January, 2011. In New York City in Summer 2010, Creative Time presented a major city-wide public art project, Key to the City, by Ramírez Jonas.
In Luis Camnitzer’s 194-part artwork Memorial (2009), the artist replicates the Montevideo, Uruguay telephone directory, into which he has meticulously inserted the names of the “disappeared”. During the military dictatorship that ruled the country between 1973 and 1985, nearly 300 Uruguayans were victims of “forced disappearances”. Working with lists of names culled from public resources, Camnitzer added lines of type, using digital techniques to create space in the ready-made phonebook, resulting in the reappearance of hundreds of names that are now indistinguishable from the names in the original phonebook. Camnitzer renders the very action of list-making and counting–political or otherwise–useless. Additionally, the work evens the roles of target and perpetrator, victim and survivor, prisoner and liberated. Memorial was exhibited at the Museum-Wiesbaden in Fall 2010.
Also on exhibit was Paul Ramírez Jonas’ sculptural installation from the series Publicar (2010), originally shown in the 2009 Mercosul Biennial. In these works, public monuments usually memorialized with boulders and brass plaques are re-imagined for the public’s examination. The typical brass plaques are replaced with cork and push pins, changing the permanent nature of the original structure by allowing viewers to define what or whom the objects commemorate. Ramírez Jonas also plays with the format of the community bulletin board, a free and democratic space for exchanging information, commerce, and work, likely to be forgotten in a digital age.
Each of the artists’ works address issues with the exchange of public information, the historicizing of the collective memory, and the reinvention of artistic form (serial printmaking, monumental sculpture). In this presentation, two generations of artists use their individual methods and experience to demonstrate the complexity of seemingly simple cultural ideas.
About Art Basel Miami Beach 2010
Art Basel Miami Beach is one of the most important art shows in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas. As the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 40 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city's beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.
An exclusive selection of more than 250 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will exhibit 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists. The exhibiting galleries are among the world's most respected art dealers, offering exceptional pieces by both renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers. Special exhibition sections feature young galleries, performance art, public art projects and video art. The show will be a vital source for art lovers, allowing them to both discover new developments in contemporary art and experience rare museum-calibre artworks.
Top-quality exhibitions in the museums of South Florida and special programs for art collectors and curators also help make the event a special time for encountering art. And every year, a greater number of art collectors, artists, dealers, curators, critics and art enthusiasts from around the world participate in Art Basel Miami Beach—the favorite winter meeting place for the international art world.