First Time the Art of an Outsider-Artist Featured On US Postage Stamps


Martin Ramirez drawing

Martin Ramirez drawing


Martín Ramírez is widely known as one of the preeminent self-taught masters of the twentieth-century. Ramirez was born in Mexico in 1895, relocated to the United States in 1925, and spent most of his life in Auburn, California at the Dewitt State Hospital. During his stay and until his death in 1963, he created some five hundred complex and compelling drawings and collages. His early art he worked primarily in crayon producing works characterized by their clean yet brazen draftsmanship. His art imagery is both suggestive and nostalgic as he merged his own life experiences– Mexican madonnas, animals, cowboys, trains, and landscapes–  with scenes of American culture. Compositionally, he renders space into multi-dimensional almost theatrical layouts using sharp geometric forms with strong linear qualities.  Later in his life, he began creating collages using newspaper clippings and his previous drawings for additional depth and texture.

Ramírez’s talents were recognized in small exhibitions as early as the 1950s. Today his work has been the subject of numerous museum shows, including the retrospective “Martín Ramírez: Pintor Mexicano,” at the Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, in 1989, and two major exhibitions at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC: a traveling retrospective titled “Martín Ramírez” in 2007, and “Martín Ramírez: The Last Works” in 2009. In 2010, the 20th century master was the subject of a comprehensive exhibition curated by Brooke Davis Anderson at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reína Sofía, in Madrid, titled “Martín Ramírez: Reframing Confinement.”

Martin Ramirez | USPS Dedication Ceremony and Opening Reception | Thursday, March 26th 6-8 pm | RICCO/MARESCA GALLERY | 529 West 20th Street

The current exhibition: Martin Ramirez: Forever, is a celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Ramirez. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the United States Postal Service and the release of a set of 5 commemorative “Martin Ramirez” Forever stamps. This momentous occasion is the first time an Outsider artist and Mexican-American artist has been featured on a USPS Stamp — a testament to the public’s growing appreciation for the field of Outsider art.

On behalf of Ricco/Maresca GalleryFlowers Gallery and the US Postal Service, I would like to cordially invite you to the Dedication Ceremony and Opening Reception of Martin Ramirez: Forever. This event will mark the release of a set of five Martin Ramirez forever stamps and will be held in conjunction with a solo exhibition of Ramirez’s artwork. The reception will be held on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm at 529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor.

Jerry Saltz will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Other ceremony participants will include: Frank Maresca (Partner, Ricco/Maresca Gallery), Joseph Corbett (Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President, US Postal Service), Edward M. Gómez (Art Critic & Senior Editor of the magazine Raw Vision), and Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain (Consul General of Mexico in New York).

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