Rafael Ferrer

Overview

In this examination of the art of Rafael Ferrer, Deborah Cullen considers the creative evolution of the Puerto Rican-born, U.S.-based artist, widely recognized and critically acclaimed for postminimalist environments constructed during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s Ferrer turned to painting, producing vibrant figurative canvases that depict life in the Caribbean—an apparently abrupt change that surprised the art world.

Cullen traces Ferrer’s trajectory, beginning with his ...

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Overview

In this examination of the art of Rafael Ferrer, Deborah Cullen considers the creative evolution of the Puerto Rican-born, U.S.-based artist, widely recognized and critically acclaimed for postminimalist environments constructed during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s Ferrer turned to painting, producing vibrant figurative canvases that depict life in the Caribbean—an apparently abrupt change that surprised the art world.

Cullen traces Ferrer’s trajectory, beginning with his early experiments in surrealism and continuing to the small-scale collages, chalkboard drawings, and paper-bag faces that represent his latest work. She explores the links that tie these works together, including Ferrer’s concern with current events and personal memory, his deep understanding of art history, and his restless, probing curiosity.

Now in his seventies, Ferrer is, as Cullen notes, more productive than ever. Pizarras (Blackboards), a major installation piece from 2005 and 2006, is composed of ninety-seven wood-framed slate tablets filled with grisaille paintings that combine Spanish wordplay and iconic shapes and doodles. The blackboards mark Ferrer’s continued involvement with urban discourse and commitment to his role as a chronicler of his culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895511348
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: A Ver Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Cullen is director and chief curator at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword Chon A. Noriega ix

Introduction 1

Early Life, 1933-1953 7

Earliest Works, 1953-1966 15

Actions and Improvisational Sculpture, 1966-1969 33

From Installations to Images, 1970-1974 48

From Objects to Painting, 1975-1999 73

Conclusion 99

Notes 105

Exhibition History 115

Bibliography 122

Index 126

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