Latin American and/or Latinx: Differences and Affinities

Join Ogden Contemporary Arts and the WSU Shaw Gallery for a talk by Dr. Mari Carmen Ramirez Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the ICAA at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Topic: Latin American and/or Latinx: Differences and Affinities

Date: October 6, 6:00 pm

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Ogden Contemporary Arts y Weber State University’s Shaw Gallery les invitan a “Latinoamericano o latinx: diferencias y/o afinidades” una presentación por la Dra. Mari Carmen Ramírez, curadora Wortham de arte Latinoamericano y Directora del ICAA del Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Miércoles, 6 de octubre a las 6 pm MT

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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Mari Carmen Ramírez

Puerto Rican (San Juan), born 1955

Mari Carmen Ramírez is the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and founding Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2001-to the present). Prior to that, she was curator of Latin American Art at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art and adjunct lecturer in the department of art and art history, both at The University of Texas at Austin (1989-2001). Ramírez also served as director of the Museo de Antropología, Historia y Arte de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus (1985-89) and assistant to the director, Ponce Museum of Art (1977-79). She received a Ph. D. in Art History from the University of Chicago in 1989. 

Ramírez has curated numerous exhibitions of Latin American art including Beatriz González: A Retrospective (MFAH-PAMM, 2019, with Tobias Ostrander); Between Play and Grief: Selections from the Latino-American Collection (MFAH, 2019); Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela, 1955-1970 (MFAH, 2018, with Tahía Rivero); HOME – So Different, So Appealing (LACMA/MFAH, 2017, with Chon Noriega and Pilar Tompkins); Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (MFAH, 2015); Cosmic Dialogues: Selections from the Latin American Art Collection (MFAH, 2015); Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona (MFAH-MALBA, 2013; traveling exhibition); Intersecting Modernities: The Brillembourg Capriles Collection of Latin American Art (MFAH, 2013): Abstract Impulse: Selections from the Twentieth Century Collections (MFAH, 2013); Constructed Dialogues: Concrete, Geometric and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Art Collection (MFAH, 2012): Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time (MFAH, 2011; MALBA, 2011; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2012; MUAC, Mexico City, 2012); Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Abstraction with Wood (The Menil Collection, 2009-10; San Diego Museum of Art, 2010); North Looks South: Building the Latin American Collection (2009); Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection (2007); Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color (MFAH and Tate Modern, 2006-2007); Gego: Between Transparency and the Invisible (traveling exhibition, 2005-2007); Heterotopías: medio siglo sin lugar: 1918-1968 (with Héctor Olea, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2000); Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin (Queens Museum of Art, traveling exhibition, 1999); Cantos Paralelos/ Parallel Cantos: Visual Parody in Contemporary Argentinean Art (Blanton Art Museum, traveling exhibition, 1998-1999); Re-Aligning Vision: Alternative Currents in South American Drawing (with Edith A. Gibson, Blanton Art Museum, traveling exhibition, 1997-99); the Latin American section of Universalis at the XXIII Bienal de São Paulo (1998); and The School of the South: El Taller Torres-García and Its Legacy (with Cecilia Buzio, Blanton Art Museum, traveling exhibition, 1990-92). In tandem with Héctor Olea, she curated Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America (MFAH, 2004) awarded by the International Association of Art Critics as the “Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally” in the USA. In 2010 New York Times art critic Holland Cotter declared Inverted Utopias one of the two most important exhibitions of the past decade. 

At the ICAA, Ramírez conceptualized and oversees the continental initiative Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project consisting of the recovery and digitalization of primary sources related to the artistic production of the region. The project involved twelve teams of professional researchers operating in 16 cities of Latin America and the United States as well as a free website where users will be access more than 14,000 documents of Latin American and Latino art. She is chief co-editor with Héctor Olea for the Yale University Press book series Critical Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art and co-editor with Héctor Olea, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto of the first volume of this series, Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino? (2012). In addition to her work with Latin American art and artists, Ramírez has published widely on a broad range of topics that include the relationship of this art to identity politics, multiculturalism, globalization, and curatorial practice. 

In 1997 Ramírez received the Peter Norton Family Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Award for Curatorial Excellence granted by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. That same year TIME magazine named her one of the twenty-five most influential Hispanics in America. In 2014, Ramírez received the 2014 American Latino Influencer Award; in 2016 she was inducted into the Greater Houston’s Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame; and in 2017 she was awarded the Mayor of Houston’s 2017 Latino Heritage Art-in-the-Community Award. In 2018 she received the award for best Latin American art collection from the ARCO Foundation in Madrid.