Paul Ramirez Jonas is a contemporary artist whose work currently explores the potential between artist and audience, artwork and public. He thinks of his works as monuments rather than as sculptures-as objects that address a public, often without an author, and communicate collective ideals, histories, and dreams rather than the individual expression of the artist. Often utilising pre-existing texts, models, or materials, he seeks to prompt action by re-enacting situations that encourage viewers to complete and validate the works.Read More
For the 2008 São Paulo Biennial, Paul Ramirez Jonas played off the mysterious and symbolic aspect of a talisman. Encouraging the public to engage with a work of art, Talisman requested a private key from the participant in exchange for a key to the front door of the Biennial venue (the iconic Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavillion). The following year, for the 7th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Ramirez Jonas altered three large boulders by carving into them a space for monument plaques to be placed. Instead of creating permanent monuments to a State honoured figure or event, he turned the monuments into platforms for cork boards for the fleeting message or personal note-the ephemeral voice of his public.
Paul Ramírez Jonas was born in 1965 in California. He lives and works in New York, USA. Selected solo exhibitions include The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California; Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo, Brazil; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; a survey at Ikon Gallery, UK, and Cornerhouse, UK; Alexander Gray Gallery, NYC; Roger Björkholmen, Sweden; Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil; and Postmasters Gallery, NYC. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC; P.S.1, NYC; The Whitechapel, UK; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland; The New Museum, NYC; and Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland. He has participated in the Johannesburg Biennale; the Seoul Biennial, the Shanghai Biennial; the 28th Sao Paulo Biennial; the 53rd Venice Biennial and the 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. In 2010 his Key to the City project was presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York. His works are included in collections such as: the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, USA; Bronx Museum, New York, USA; New Museum, New York, USA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, USA; Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden; and Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil.
Text courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.