Paul Ramírez Jonas (New York)

Fierce FWD: What matters to us.

Thursday 3 March 2022, 6.00pm

Thorp Street
Birmingham, B5 4TB United Kingdom
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3 hours



© 2017 Scott Rudd @scottruddevents

Paul Ramírez Jonas: Alternative Facts, performance view, Kyriakides Plaza at MDC Wolfson Campus, October 18, 2019. Photo by Cristian Lazzari. © Museum of Art and Design at MDC.

A group of people on a promotional stand at Birmingham New Street Train Station, interacting with each other

Key to the City - Key Exchange Ceremony Site at Birmingham New Street Station

We are excited to announce a free workshop for artists with acclaimed international artist Paul Ramírez Jonas. Fierce will be working with Paul closely throughout 2022.

Titled ‘What matters to us’, the workshop will invite participants to consider life’s big questions and how they inform their artistic practice. Through conversation and printmaking, participants will uncover the questions they have in common, and those unique to them as individuals. Paul will also give a lecture exploring the alternative lifestyles of the artist, highlighting exemplars that have eschewed the standard model of: day job to pay bills, studio to make art, showing art in exhibition spaces.

The workshop is free to participate in as part of our ongoing Fierce FWD programme. The workshop will take place on Thursday 3rd March at DanceXchange studios 6-9pm.

To reserve your place on the workshop email:

Paul Ramírez Jonas was born in 1965 in Pomona, California, and raised in Honduras. He earned a BA in studio art from Brown University (1987) and an MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence (1989).

Ramírez Jonas’s work ranges from large-scale public installation and monumental sculpture to intimate performance, video, and drawing, and traces the universal aspiration to an elusive perfect world. From driving west in pursuit of the sunset (Longer Day, 1997), to recreating failed flying machines (various projects, 1993–94) and transcribing the communications of the Apollo space mission (Men on the Moon, Tranquility, 1990– ), his practice is characterised by a bracing, albeit nostalgic, idealism rooted in a faith in human resilience. Sensitive to the processes of globalisation, he reveals its simultaneous tendencies towards interdependence and exclusion.

Exploring the parallels between various public gathering spaces, Ramírez Jonas’s drawing series Admit One (2010–13) and Assembly (2013) chart a typology of assembly halls, churches, cinemas, stadiums, and theaters that underscore the fundamental nature of the human need for connection. In The Commons (2011) and Ventriloquist (2013), the artist revived the monument (here the equestrian statue and the portrait bust, respectively) as a vehicle for communication by replacing the form’s immutable granite or marble with cork—a material that is both degradable and the traditional medium of community noticeboards.

Key to the City (2010) was a citywide intervention in which twenty-five thousand keys to private or normally inaccessible spaces throughout New York City were bestowed on certain individuals in a special ceremony, revealing that culture can still be a freely shared experience, while also highlighting the increasing privatization of urban space.

Ramírez Jonas has had solo exhibitions at Artists Space, New York (1990); White Columns, New York (1992); Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas (2007); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2008); and the Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Fluxus Attitudes, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); inSite_05, San Diego and Tijuana (2005); The Quick and the Dead, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2009); Barely There (Part II), Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2011); Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2012); and Shine a Light 2013, Portland Art Museum (2013). He has also taken part in the Johannesburg Biennial (1995); Seoul Biennial (2000); Shanghai Biennial (2006); São Paulo Biennial (2008); and Venice Biennale (2009). His honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1991), Art Matters Foundation (2009), and Joan Mitchell Foundation (2009), as well as a Howard Foundation Fellowship (2009). Ramírez Jonas lives and works in New York.


Thursday 3 March 2022