Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    842711
    TITLE
    A Ulysses of Puerto Rico / Josh Kind
    IN
    Rafael Ferrer. --- New York, USA : Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 1987
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 17 - 25 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Kind, Joshua. "A Ulysses of Puerto Rico." In Rafael Ferrer, 17- 25. New York, USA: Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 1987.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

The author, Joshua Kind, contends that Ferrer may be included in the category of contemporary artists interested in naïve style forms. In assemblage art, which is often deliberately amorphous, such qualities as the artist’s qualms are hidden from the creator himself and the public. But in Ferrer’s two-dimensional works, there is far less ambiguity about style, which appears to be naïve. To have been born in Puerto Rico, the author further argues, is to have absorbed the cultural awareness of Hispanic America—South, Central, and the Caribbean—which is marked by the psychological and intellectual violence of the pull between what seems to be mythical and dispossessed (i.e., the American Indian), and the urbane outlook imported by the Old World. In the Caribbean, where Ferrer comes from, that view is complicated by the African heritage that is intertwined with what is Native and European influence. In an attempt to pinpoint the melancholy power of freedom while being in despair, Ferrer’s “primitivism,”—as Kind calls it—is a kind of both sad reality and frustrated aspiration.

Annotations

Rafael Ferrer (b. 1933) grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but has been involved in several avant-garde artist groups including the Surrealist circle in Paris, and the Minimalist and Conceptual art movement in New York City. Turning to painting and installation art in the 1970s, Ferrer is among the most prominent artists of Puerto Rican descent in the United States.

Works for this exhibit were lent by Ferrer’s New York gallery representative, Nancy Hoffman.

 

Researcher
Libertad Guerra
Credit
Courtesy of Joshua Kind, Downers Grove, IL