"Xpresiones! Monotypes and Constructions by Gustavo Ramos Rivera" features thirteen new monotypes and three very large sculptures by San Francisco artist Gustavo Ramos Rivera in an exhibition from Jan. 11 through March 15.
Jerry Emanuel, exhibition coordinator, announced the reception for Museum members, family and friends of the artist, and art lovers at large will be held on Sunday, Jan. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m.
According to Emanuel, "His art reveals radiant visual flavors which form the purist fruits of Modern Mexican Aesthetics."
"Gestural, personal, and open" are words used by Guest Curator Melissa Behravesh (Smith Andersen Editions) to describe Rivera's new images.
"This body of work battles with the darker subconscious, revealing windows of Rivera's celebrated color in moments of clarity" according to Behravesh. "Gustavo Ramos Rivera uses his painterly hand and eloquent draftsmanship to chart his fragmented and overlapping experiences."
Robert Flynn Johnson, recently retired as Chief Curator of the Achenbach Collection, stated, "Gustavo Ramos Rivera is an artist who surprises, delights, and sometimes overwhelms the uninitiated with his extraordinarily exuberant and colorful draftsmanship.
"Ramos Rivera is probably the least premeditated artist I have ever encountered. His is not an art of calculation, but that of an artist whose activity involves making his inner feelings visible through the application and arrangement of color and line."
The monotypes range in size, with several as large as 5 ft by 3.5 ft. The sculptures are even larger, ranging up to 8 ft in height. Thematically, there are clear relationships between the two methods of art creation, and the X in "Xpresiones" reflects the recurring symbology.
Ramos Rivera was born and raised in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, and moved to San Francisco in 1969. He acknowledges Rufino Tamayo and Richard Diebenkorn as important influences on his art.
Independent art scholar Bruce Nixon wrote, "Ramos Rivera belongs to a generation of Mexican artists that emerged between two distinctive eras: on the one hand, a society still clearly marked by Mesoamerican traditions, the mestizo land whose heritage had been both simplified and compellingly codified by the Mexican muralists; and on the other, a postwar culture moving inexorably beyond the grasp of those traditions as well as their representations, one in the process of becoming truly international."
An outstanding bilingual catalogue of Ramos Rivera's 2006 retrospective was co-published by the San Jose Museum of Art and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. March 15
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