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  • ICAA Record ID
    842175
    AUTHOR
    Stiles, Kristine
    TITLE
    Rafael Montañez Ortiz / Kristine Stiles
    IN
    Rafael Montañez Ortiz : Years of the Warrior, Years of the Psyche, 1960 - 1988. -- New York : El Museo del Barrio, 1988
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 8, 10, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24, 28, 30, 33 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Stiles, Kristine. “Rafael Montañez Ortiz.” In Rafael Montañez Ortiz: Years of the Warrior, Years of the Psyche, 1960 – 1988. New York: El Museo del Barrio, 1988.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In this essay, art historian Kristine Stiles provides the most comprehensive essay written to date on the work of Rafael Montañez Ortiz, who is recognized as an innovator in the destruction art movement of the 1960s. Stiles’s essay chronicles Ortiz’s early experiments in the 1950s that take advantage of “destruction” as a creative tool, as well as the production of his first sculptures of destroyed mattresses and pianos, whose series he titled Archeological Finds. Furthermore, she provides details on Ortiz’s development of “ritualized destruction” performances that led to his participation in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London in 1966, and to international acclaim. The author maintains that while Ortiz was aware of avant-garde movements like Dada and Fluxus, his readings in psychology and anthropology were the most influential sources for art making. Indeed, Ortiz incorporated native elements drawn from his Puerto Rican heritage into the process of deconstruction, underscoring his awareness of indigenous cultural practice, and its possibilities as a model for contemporary aesthetics.

Annotations

In conjunction with participating in international avant-garde circles, Rafael Montañez Ortiz, was active in anti-war and civil rights struggles; particularly with regard to ending race, class, and gender discrimination in the New York art milieu. Faithful to his convictions, Rafael Montañez Ortiz founded El Museo del Barrio in 1969. Initially established to serve as a Puerto Rican museum in New York City, El Museo del Barrio’s mission was revised in the 1990s to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans within the United States.

Researcher
Yasmin Ramirez
Credit
Courtesy of Kristine Stiles, Durham, NC
Courtesy El Musseo del Barrio ["Rafael Montañez Ortiz", Kristine Stiles by "El Museo del Barrio"].