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b. 1965, USA

Paul Ramirez Jonas Biography

Artist Paul Ramírez Jonas is known for his sculptures and site-specific projects that contemplate the public, whether in terms of viewer, art, or space. Public engagement is central to many of Ramírez Jonas' artworks, prompting a reconsideration of the relationships between artist, artwork, and audience.

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Paul Ramírez Jonas' early artworks created contemporary reinterpretations of historical milestones in various media. For 'Heavier than Air' (1993–1994), the artist built kites based on early-20th-century prototypes for flying machines. When each kite was launched into the air with a camera attached, the camera photographed the view below. In the same decade Ramírez Jonas created Men on the Moon, EVA (1996): a re-recording of the first moon landing's audio communications.

Ramírez Jonas sees his artworks as monuments, writing that they are 'created with the awareness that they are being made for a public'. His Truth is Marching On (1993), for example, is a chandelier consisting of 80 wine bottles filled with water that, played by a viewer, produce the notes of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. In Key to the City (2010), commissioned by Creative Time, Ramírez Jonas bestowed master keys that unlock more than 20 New York sites to select members of the public.

Paul Ramírez Jonas' materials include cork, which is commonly used for public message bulletin boards. The large-scale cork horse of The Commons (2011)—a reproduction of the mount in Rome's Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurealius—stands on a plinth also made of cork. When the work was exhibited in Ramírez Jonas' retrospective Atlas, Plural, Monumental at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2017, its base became covered with visitors' notes, selfies, doodles, and tickets.

Jonas also explores the nature of the public in different facets. In the works belonging to the series 'Assembly' (2013), small silk-screen tickets represent the seats of large public venues such as the United States Supreme Court Chamber and Kabul's Ghazi Stadium. Public Trust, an ongoing project since 2016, by contrast, actively seeks participation by asking audience members to make personal promises and seal them with signed contracts.

Paul Ramírez Jonas Solo Exhibitions Include:

Depose and Repose, Galeria Nara Roesler (2020); El Palacio de Cristal, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2018); Half-Truths, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2017); Arts on the Point—Another Day, University of Massachusetts, Boston (2015); Over the Water—We Make the Treasure, Exploratorium, San Francisco (2014).

Paul Ramírez Jonas Group Exhibitions Include:

Monuments Now, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2020); New Monuments for New Cities, The High Line, New York (2019); Resonance: Paul Ramírez Jonas and David Moré, Pilot Projects, Philadelphia (2017); Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, South London Gallery (2016) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020

Paul Ramirez Jonas Featured Artworks

View All (12)
Ventriloquist I by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Ventriloquist I, 2013 Cork, pushpins, notes contributed by the public
69.7 x 18.1 x 18.1 inches
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Ventriloquists I by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Ventriloquists I, 2013 Cork, pushpins, notes contributed by the public
177 x 46 x 46 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Publicar IX by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Publicar IX, 2010 Cork, pushpins and vulcanic rock
57.15 x 81.28 x 137.6 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Ventriloquist II by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Ventriloquist II, 2013 Cork, pushpins, notes contributed by the public
177 x 46 x 46 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Ventriloquist III by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Ventriloquist III, 2013 Cork, pushpins, notes contributed by the public
177 x 46 x 46 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Depose and Repose by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork sculpture
Paul Ramirez Jonas Depose and Repose, 2013 Cork, pushpins, notes contributed by the public
40.6 x 46 x 46 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
untitled by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork mixed media
Paul Ramirez Jonas untitled, 2018 Paper and mixed media
22 x 15 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Untitled by Paul Ramirez Jonas contemporary artwork mixed media
Paul Ramirez Jonas Untitled, 2018 Paper and mixed media
45 x 30 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery

Paul Ramirez Jonas Recent Exhibitions

Paul Ramirez Jonas Represented By

Galeria Nara Roesler contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Galeria Nara Roesler New York, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo

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