SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Ruiz-Healy Art
, exclusive representative for the estate of Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010), announced that the Smithsonian American Art Museum has purchased Ramirez limited edition large-format photograph, Seven Days: Breakfast Tacos, for the institutions permanent collection. The work will be included in the upcoming exhibition, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which will be on view at the American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. from October 25, 2013 to March 2, 2014.
Organized by E. Carmen Ramos, Associate Curator for Latino Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Our America will feature more than seventy works in a range of media, drawn exclusively from the institutions groundbreaking permanent collection of Latino art. Ramirez Breakfast Tacos will be exhibited alongside works by other leading contemporary Latino artists, working in the US from mid-century to the present.
We are so pleased that Chucks work is being properly recognized at a national level, especially by such a prestigious institution. The inclusion of his work in the Our America show, along with artists like Ana Mendieta and Vic Muniz, will bring another perspective and layer of understanding of his work, says Patricia Ruiz-Healy, owner of Ruiz-Healy Art and a committed advocate of Chuck Ramirez artistic legacy.
Ramirez was a major force in the San Antonio art community before his untimely death in a 2010 cycling accident. A 2002 Artpace resident, Ramirez work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. As an artist and graphic designer, Ramirez employed the visual and conceptual techniques found in contemporary advertising and package design, isolating and re-contextualizing familiar objects to explore cultural identity, mortality, and consumerism through his photographs and installations.
Seven Days: Breakfast Tacos is representative of this tendency. One in a series of seven highly formalized tableaux documenting the remains of seven distinct, already-consumed meals, Breakfast Tacos is replete with specific references: foil taco wrappers, plastic salsa cups, beverage cans and mostly-empty coffee mugs. Taking visual cues from local tastes and popular culture (often including references to regional food chains, characteristic packaging, or culturally specific events) as well as the long artistic tradition of the vanitas still life painting, the Seven Days series addresses the fragility of life, by using symbolic reminders of lifes impermanence.
Ruiz-Healys ultimate goal is to produce a major museum retrospective, and to find a home for the Ramirez archives. The gallery and the Estate have committed significant resources to the restoration and cleaning of his old film so that his work can be properly conserved, and were organizing Chucks archive with the intention of finding the right home for this material to make it accessible for further study. By making Ramirez work and archives available to curators and scholars, Ruiz-Healy hopes that, Through new curatorial juxtapositions and interpretations, the
impact of his oeuvre will continue to grow.
The artwork of Chuck Ramirez is included in numerous private and public collections, including:
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
San Antonio Museum of Art
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi
The European Museum of Photography, Paris
Ruiz-Healy Art will show Chuck Ramirez work in San Antonio from September 20 through October 26, 2012 in an exhibit that will feature the Seven Days Series, among others.