Public Trust, 2016

Biography

Since the 1990s, Paul Ramirez Jonas has produced a varied body of work, ranging from public installations and monumental sculptures, to drawings, videos and performances. Despite his education having been focused on painting, the artist's practice is geared towards understanding and engaging with the possibilities of participation or exchange between artists, the work and its viewers. Ramirez Jonas' work departs from the idea of reading or reinterpreting elements of everyday life. By using objects such as newspapers, old pictures and music scores, the artist seeks to give the spectator an interactive role, whereby their actions constitute and validate the work, rather than merely contemplating it. 

 

In fact, in making the viewer's engagement a central part of the work, Ramirez Jonas strives to create a community, albeit temporary. Always encouraging collective communication of ideas and stories, his works can often be much more characterized as monuments, rather than as sculptures. Notably, for the 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008), as part of his presentation, Ramirez Jonas gave viewers keys to the main door of the pavilion where he exhibited. Two years later, for Key to the City, he distributed twenty-four thousand keys opening both public and private spaces of the city of New York. Both examples show the way in which the artist creates collective and radical experiences through simple gestures, or objects. 

 

Paul Ramirez Jonas was born in 1965 in Pomona, USA. He currently lives and works in New York, USA. Recent solo exhibitions include: El Palacio de Cristal, at Museo Jumex (2018), in Mexico City, Mexico; Half-Truths, at New Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), in New York, USA; Atlas, Plural, Monumental, at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) (2017), in Houston, USA, and Public Trust, site-specific in Dudley Square, Kendall Square, and Copley Square, in Boston, USA. He has participated in the 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy (2009); in the 28th Bienal de  São Paulo, Brazil (2008) and in the 7th and 10th editions of the Mercosur Biennial, in Porto Alegre (2009 and 2015), Brazil. Recent group exhibitions include: New Monuments for New Cities, at the High Line, in New York, USA (2019), at Bentway, in Toronto, Canada, at 606, in Chicago, USA, at Waller Creek, in Austin, USA, at Buffalo Bayou, in Houston, USA; Metrópole, at Galeria Nara Roesler (2017), in São Paulo, Brazil; Núcleo Nómada/05 Arte contemporáneo emergente en Honduras, at Centro Cultural de España en Tegucigalpa (CCET) (2015), in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. His works are part of numerous institutional collections, such as: Blanton Museum, Austin, USA; Bronx Museum, New York, USA; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil; Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden; New Museum, New York, USA.

Exhibitions

News

Press

  • vanished art recalled and reinterpreted Download

    vanished art recalled and reinterpreted

    Louis Bury, Hyperallergic 27.10.2018
  • need a fake id? artist paul ramírez jonas will make you one for free at the new museum Download

    need a fake id? artist paul ramírez jonas will make you one for free at the new museum

    Sarah Cascone, Artnet News 27.7.2017
  • secrets and lies Download

    secrets and lies

    Jeffrey Kastner, VICE 26.7.2017
  • paul ramírez jonas: 5 Jul — 17 Sep 2017 at the new museum Download

    paul ramírez jonas: 5 Jul — 17 Sep 2017 at the new museum

    wall street international 18.7.2017
  • paul ramírez jonas exhibits ‘half-truths’ at the new museum Download

    paul ramírez jonas exhibits ‘half-truths’ at the new museum

    Kristen Tauer , WWD 11.7.2017
  • paul ramírez jonas asks what constitutes a public Download

    paul ramírez jonas asks what constitutes a public

    Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Hyperallergic 29.6.2017
  • paul ramirez jonas: the promise of more Download

    paul ramirez jonas: the promise of more

    Courtenay Finn, art ltd 1.5.2017
  • art as compost for compassion​ Download

    art as compost for compassion​

    Supportive Bureaucracy 21.9.2016
  • paul ramirez jonas: public trust Download

    paul ramirez jonas: public trust

    Olivia J. Kiers, Art New England 13.9.2016
  • public art project to explore the nature of trust Download

    public art project to explore the nature of trust

    Malcolm Gay, The Boston Globe 23.8.2016
  • aspen times weekly: out of the blue Download

    aspen times weekly: out of the blue

    Andrew Travers, The Aspen Times 14.5.2015
  • paul ramirez jonas - ArtForum Download

    paul ramirez jonas - ArtForum

    Colby Chambetfa, ArtForum 17.8.2013
  • paul ramirez jonas, Download

    paul ramirez jonas, "The Earth Seen from Above"

    Time Out New York 6.2.2003
  • paul ramirez jonas postmasters gallery Download

    paul ramirez jonas postmasters gallery

    Kirby Gookin, ArtForum 10.3.1998
  • paul ramirez jonas postmasters Download

    paul ramirez jonas postmasters

    MVdW, ArtForum 14.11.1996
  • paul ramirez jonas postmasters, through Mar 9 (see soho) Download

    paul ramirez jonas postmasters, through Mar 9 (see soho)

    Rober Mahoney, Time Out New York 28.2.1996

Video

Critical Essays

  • sliding puzzles or the logic of the drive

    sara nadal-melsió
    In Give and Take, Ramirez Jonas presents the visitor with a speculative, funny and lighthearted experiment that gives us a glimpse into the interdependence between compulsion and form, between demand and choice. The artist takes, once more, the role of the scientist or collector and transforms his studio into a laboratory that artificially isolates the drive that structures the exchange economies at the center of his public artworks. All the pieces in the show are sourced from the remainders of earlier works accumulated over time in the artist’s studio. Alone in his workspace, Ramirez Jonas has now become his own audience or public, a detached observer of the drives embedded in the exchange economies he has spent a career constructing. There is something strikingly impersonal in the exercise, a taxonomical impulse that the artist balances by including traces of the personal and singular—fingerprints, handwriting, small smudges on the surface of the paper. The drive emerges here as a resistant mechanism that reconfigures the relation between the private and...