Paul Ramirez Jonas is no stranger to Boston. Born in California and raised in Honduras, Ramirez Jonas earned his BA from Brown University, his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. He spent his first summer in the United States in Boston and later taught at the School of Museum of Arts/Tufts.
To engage completely with his projects, Ramirez Jonas often asks us, the participants, to contribute something: spare change, a wish…or even our own version of history. This reciprocity is a manifestation of trust and a social contract through which the viewer and artist create meaning.
His works have included large-scale monuments made of cork that allow impromptu messages to be pinned and creating new bodies of text. They’ve also included participatory pieces such as Cambridge’s Taylor Square, where he mailed 5,000 keys to the park to residents; and allowed them to shape the park’s future. This Boston based piece successfully led to Key to the City, a project presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York. Public Trust continues to build on his exploration of access, trust, and belonging.
Paul Ramirez Jonas' selected solo exhibitions include Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo, Brazil; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; and a survey at Ikon Gallery (UK) and Cornerhouse (UK). He has been included in group exhibitions at P.S.1 (NYC); the Brooklyn Museum; The Whitechapel (UK); Irish Museum of Modern Art (Ireland); The New Museum (NYC); and Kunsthaus Zurich (Switzerland). He participated in the 1st Johannesburg Biennale; the 1st Seoul Biennial; the 6th 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. The Contemporary Art Museum Houston is organizing a 25 year survey of his work to be presented in 2017. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hunter College, and The City University of New York (CUNY).
Explore Ramirez Jonas' work further by watching his October 2016 artist talk with Now + There and MassART.