By: Holland Cotter (May 16, 2019)
“… In a sculpture titled “Maria-Maria,” the Afro-Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos creates, from wood, beads, coconuts and a blue FEMA tarp, a figure that is both the Virgin Mary and personification of the hurricane that devastated the island in 2017. Enshrined in a sixth floor Whitney window, the piece looks presidingly majestic”.
By: Sebastian Smee (May 18, 2019)
…”Some of these artists — I’m thinking of Daniel Lind-Ramos, Marlon Mullen, Nicole Eisenman, Martine Syms, Ragen Moss, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Diane Simpson — are in this biennial. Their work stands out from other good work and vast amounts of dross because it feels urgent and necessary. Its subtleties emerge as you look. It resists being reduced to one-liners and gimmicks and isn’t dependent on wall labels or dissertations. It articulates inchoate feelings, reflecting what is sometimes clear yet more often bewildering about life. And it gains its power, its strange allure, more from what it is than what it’s about.”…
…”The sculptures of Puerto Rico’s Lind-Ramos are as full-throated as Eisenman’s but more formally taut. Made from natural and salvaged materials — from burlap and baseball gloves to plywood and palm trees — they’re both fierce and seductive. One alludes to the trauma of Hurricane Maria, another to the role played by black Puerto Ricans in the colonial era, when local black militias repelled British invasion. These references add depth, but you don’t need to know them to give in to the work’s resplendent aesthetic authority”…
Full article: https://beta.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/the-whitney-biennial-presents-the-best-new-artists-in-the-country–and-lots-of-fluff/2019/05/17/0af0d7f6-78d7-11e9-bd25-c989555e7766_story.html?outputType=amp
By: Andrew Russeth (May 13, 2019)
“Daniel Lind-Ramos, one of four Puerto Rico–based artists in the show, is a star, using everything from blue tarps distributed by FEMA to coconuts to ropes in service of building uncanny creatures that seem steeped in history.”
By: Aruna D’Souza (May 24, 2019)
“…turning the corner, one can find some of the real treasures of the exhibition—sophisticated assemblage-based sculptures by the Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos that align the territory’s past history of colonialist occupation and the looming, post–Hurricane Maria threat of gentrification”.
By: Linda Yablonsky (May 14, 2019)
“If there is a breakout star here it may be Daniel Lind-Ramos, who is in his mid-60s and whose cultural-specific sculpture is better known to citizens of his native Puerto Rico than to those in the US. Centinelas (Sentinel), the more transcendent of two works he has in the show, is an assemblage of found objects that suggests a pipe organ or an altarpiece made of palm branches, burlap, tarps, spoons, a cauldron and rope. They are among the items that washed up near the artist’s home in 2017, after the disastrous Hurricane Maria wrecked the island and killed 3,000 people”.
By: Scott Indrisek (May 14, 2019)
“One big exception here are inventive sculptures by Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos, who makes magic with palm tree trunks, beads, coconuts, soil, and other poetic objects. As with the best of Nari Ward, a sense of symmetry and gravity give these sculptures a sense of ritual importance, despite their secular materials”.
By: Murray Whyte (May 23, 2019)
“Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley act as good hosts, convening clusters of artists and works that play well together. On the sixth floor, I felt like an eavesdropper to a simmering revolutionary plan. Daniel Lind-Ramos’s big ramshackle totems, cobbled from burlap, coconut shells, cast-iron pots, and plastic tarps, preside over a meeting of minds between Eddie Arroyo’s dour, roughly painted street scenes of a single building in Miami’s Little Haiti transformed by gentrification, and Gala Porras-Kim’s cool canvases depicting the runes of an ancient, indecipherable language (really: The forms are taken from an untranslatable Epi-Olmec script found on a stone in 1986, now in a museum in Mexico)”.
” There was an energy, a portent — change about to come. I wouldn’t call it threatening, though Lind-Ramos’s “Maria-Maria” isn’t exactly friendly. It’s a virginal idol with a coconut head draped in a gown of blue tarp and named for the hurricane that ravaged his Puerto Rican home in 2017, to the White House’s apparent indifference. But as a grouping it feels unified — complaints registered not with reactive rage, but thought and purpose”.
By: Marina Reyes Franco (March 1, 2019)
“WHILE AFRICAN spirituality is a major source of inspiration for many Afro–Puerto Rican artists, others directly address the history of radicalism spurred by dispossession and struggle in the Caribbean. One of the eight artists who participated in “Parenthesis,” Daniel Lind Ramos understands the pervasiveness of racism in Puerto Rico, even if it is obscured by official appeals to Hispanic history. “El que no tiene dinga, tiene mandinga,” he told me.8 The colloquialism implies that everyone has at least some black in them—a slogan often used to invalidate claims of racism. Lind Ramos was raised in Loíza, a center of Afro–Puerto Rican culture. “Surrounded by black people,” he recounted in an interview, “my primary education was full of joy, with traditions, culinary and artistic expressions stemming from an economy based on the coconut palm tree.”
In his work, Lind Ramos often explores the links between Loíza and the African diaspora throughout the Antilles as experienced through carnival characters. Trained as a painter and draughtsman, he began incorporating three-dimensional objects into his canvases in the late 1990s and now creates mostly large-scale installations, assemblages, and videos. The materials he uses, including dried coconuts and palm tree refuse, can be found in the area around his studio in Loíza. His assemblage sculptures often honor construction workers, musicians, cooks, and artisans through the inclusion of their tools, some of which also happen to be important symbols in Afro-Caribbean religions and traditions.
The artist’s 2014 solo exhibition “De Pie”(Standing) at the Museo de las Americas in San Juan featured assemblages that evoke proud and defiant figures from throughout Afro–Puerto Rican history. The imposing piece 1797 features a version of the carnival character El Viejo (Old Man), signified by a metal mask and hat. The abstract figure is surrounded by other masks made of palm tree refuse that are positioned on the wall above an array of knives. Coconut husks are piled on the floor below, some painted with crude versions of the Union Jack. The work is an allusion to militia of Afro–Puerto Ricans who defended the island from a British invasion led by lieutenant-general Ralph Abercromby. The piece also manifests a fierce desire to live in and protect ancestral land.”
By: Chloe Wyma (September, 2019)
“Panetta’s and Hockley’s essays are replete with references to spaces and experiences indexed but invisible in the galleries, such as their visit to the Underground Museum, which organizes art exhibitions and programming like yoga classes and film screenings in the predominantly working-class black and Latinx Los Angeles neighborhood Arlington Heights; or their walk through the hurricane-damaged town of Loíza, Puerto Rico, with local artist Daniel Lind-Ramos, whose queenly figural sculpture Maria-Maria, 2019, draped in a blue FEMA tarp, is gorgeously installed in front of a river-facing window on the museum’s sixth floor. ”
The Whitney Biennial: A Tale of Two Exhibitions
By: John Keene (September 4, 2019)
“When an artist belongs to a marginalized community, the act of centering the artist’s hand can have political resonance. In that spirit, the exhibition foregrounded plasticity and craft. Puerto Rico–based Daniel Lind-Ramos’s sculptural assemblages displayed his skillful handiwork, which draws upon African, Indigenous, and European traditions. His Maria-Maria (2019), a sculpture fashioned from coconuts, fabric, and found metal parts, is an abstract depiction of the Virgin Mary (and to these eyes, a magnificent, life-size vulva). Lind-Ramos’s sensitive selection of materials also evokes Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic effects on Puerto Rico, with the titular figure wearing blue robes fashioned from tarps that FEMA distributed across the island. “
UNA NOTA JUSTO ANTES –O DESPUÉS– DEL FINAL: BIENAL DE WHITNEY 2019
By: Nohora Arrieta Fernández (October 29, 2019)
“Si no fuera por el ventanal inmenso por el que se asoma el Houston, uno pensaría que está delante de uno de aquellos altares diminutos que acostumbran a parapetear las abuelas caribeñas en un rincón del salón o en la cómoda del cuarto. Faltan las imágenes de San Gregorio o Judas Tadeo, y la virgen es quizá un poco grande para las dimensiones de una mesa de noche. María María, del puertorriqueño Daniel Lind-Ramos (1953), mide aproximadamente un metro y medio de alto y fue bellamente ubicada en una esquina con ventana del sexto piso del museo. María, por el huracán que dejó más de tres mil muertos en Puerto Rico; María, por la virgen a la que le rezaron durante esa noche demasiado larga. La escultura está hecha de objetos ensamblados: la túnica es un retazo del plástico azul que la entidad federal de administración de emergencias FEMA (por sus siglas en inglés) usó para cubrir las ruinas de los edificios destruidos durante el huracán. El rostro es un coco que el artista encontró después de una tempestad en las inmediaciones de su casa en Loíza, una pequeña población negra al noreste de la isla. Ramas de cocoteros para sujetar el aura, fragmentos de cuerdas para los cabellos, una licuadora para el torso; el paisaje de Loíza, el ritmo cotidiano, la rutina del paisaje y hasta la brisa que trajo los restos a los pies de Lind-Ramos sobrevuelan en ese rincón desde el que María María gobierna el sexto piso del Whitney”.
Artículo completo: http://artishockrevista.com/2019/10/29/whitney-biennial-2019/
Display Cases: Greg Tate on a Whitney Biennial Haunted by Warren Kanders and Mamie Till
By: Greg Tate (September 6, 2019)
“Porras-Kim shares space with three works by Puerto Rican assemblage artist Daniel Lind-Ramos that obliquely reference in one piece the devastation and abandonment of his homeland wrought by Hurricane Maria and, in another, the legacy of Black resistance to imperialism on the island. A Black woman artist friend thought the tight spatial grouping of Porras-Kim, Lind-Ramos, and vocalist/video artist Laura Ortman tipped toward ghettoization, but it also made her read them positively as a Latinx ensemble. It might not be a bad thing for African-Americans to be repeatedly reminded that the Afro-diasporic histories of post-colonial Caribbean and Latin American folk compel art that does ethnographic contemplation differently”.
‘We Ourselves Are Our Prize’: Lasting Works in the Whitney Biennial Evoke Toni Morrison and Ancestry Through the Ages
By: Taylor Renee Aldridge (September 19, 2019)
“As I’ve looked to the Whitney Biennial to think through our unsettled and increasingly fraught sociopolitical and environmental moment, it is clear that artists in the show are seeking out tools from their own beliefs—as well as personal and collective histories—to grapple with the present and find optimism for the future. One methodology centers on memory.
Daniel Lind-Ramos, who offers a poetic assemblage of charged objects, has sourced material from his own community in Puerto Rico to make monumental constructions that reference the complicated and exploitative relationship between the U.S and its island territory in what he has called “an exercise of memory.” In Maria-Maria (2019), he constructed a Virgin Mary figure that resembles a yonic form with a blue tarp that was provided by FEMA to Puerto Ricans after the devastating 2017 hurricane referenced in the work’s title. The tarp suggests the blue robe that often adorns Mary in Christian visual iconography; post-hurricane, it was intended as a structural adornment to take the place of destroyed roofs, but it is of course an inadequate material for protection. Here, Lind-Ramos unifies the world of materials and the world of faith, summoning destruction and protection at once”.
12 Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward to in 2020
By: HOLLAND COTTER
I’m looking forward to — hoping for — a year in which Latino artists, specifically artists of Latin descent living in the United States and the Caribbean, get their due. Latino art continues to be all but ignored by major museums. It has, for example, virtually no presence in the recent MoMA rehang (which gives significant space to abstraction from South America, a market favorite). There have been flashes of attention. In 2017, “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” sponsored by the Getty Foundation, demonstrated the rich history of Chicano art on the West Coast. The 2019 Whitney Biennial included work by five artists, including Daniel Lind-Ramos (above), living and working in Puerto Rico. But what’s needed is sustained institutional follow-up, meaning commitment. I’ll be on the lookout for that in the year, and the decade, ahead.