Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California

Known for his distinctive contribution to modernism, Alfredo Ramos Martínez’s paintings and murals were deeply informed by both the European academic traditions he had absorbed while traveling abroad and by the social and populist art that was beginning to take root in Mexico. Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California is the first comprehensive examination by a museum of this Mexican artist’s work produced in California between 1929 and 1946. Although initially hailed as an innovator, Ramos Martínez was quickly left on the outskirts of the artistic trends that dominated Mexico City in the 1920s when his peers, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—los tres grandes—and their rejection of Europe and academic traditions, rose to prominence. Seeking opportunities to continue his own modernist style, he moved to Los Angeles. With the United States on the brink of a depression, much of his work from that period reveals both the economic and cultural climate of the country as well as his individual response to Mexico from Los Angeles. Explored through four sections—”L.A. Stories,” “Many Women,” “Religious Piety,” and “Forever Mexico”—the exhibition highlights the contributions of this remarkable artist and firmly places him alongside his contemporaries in the narrative of early twentieth century art.

This exhibition is curated by Amy Galpin, Ph.D., Curator, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Florida. It is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and will travel to the Nevada Museum of Art, where it will be on view from May 10 to August 17, 2014.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, and the Robert Lehman Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Hilbert Collection, Robert and Ruth Mirvis, George and Irene Stern, Dwight Stuart, Jr., and Louis Stern Fine Arts.