The Artsy Vanguard 2020: Daniel Lind-Ramos
B. 1953, Loíza, Puerto Rico. Lives and works in Loíza.
Daniel Lind-Ramos, Maria-Maria, 2019. Photo by Ron Amstutz. Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Daniel Lind-Ramos, Armario de la Memoria (Wardrobe of Memory), 2013. Photo by Raquel Puig. Courtesy of the artist and Embajada, San Juan.
To create his work, Daniel Lind-Ramos gathers materials from his community of Loíza, Puerto Rico. His otherworldly sculptures involve binding, sewing, and welding together heirlooms from his family home, found objects gifted by neighbors, and earthly objects such as tree husks and coconuts. Lind-Ramos sees his work as a way to bring a physicality to his personal experiences and memories as a Black Puerto Rican man. The work is also a vehicle through which he addresses Puerto Rico’s history—from its colonialist origins to its recovery from Hurricane Maria and relationship with the United States.
One of Lind-Ramos’s standout sculptures from the 2019 Whitney Biennial, Maria-Maria (2019)—made from coconuts and a blue FEMA tarp, among various other materials—reflects on Hurricane Maria, as well as Mary, mother of Jesus. The piece is a dichotomy of destruction and protection: a symbol of the tragic loss and the U.S.’s unconscionable failure to provide aid in the wake of the disaster, as well as the glimmers of faith and ritual at the heart of religion. After the exhibition, the Whitney Museum acquired Maria-Maria.
In 2020, Lind-Ramos had a solo show at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. In March—just before the COVID-19 lockdown—he opened his first New York solo show, at Marlborough, and was awarded the $50,000 Pérez Prize from the Pérez Art Museum Miami. In the next year, Lind-Ramos is due for inclusion in group shows at the Drawing Center in New York and at Haus der Kunst in Munich.
The Artsy Vanguard 2020
The Artsy Vanguard 2020 is our annual list of the most promising artists shaping the future of contemporary art. This year, artists are organized into two categories: Newly Emerging, which presents artists who’ve gained momentum in the past year, showing at leading institutions and galleries; and Getting Their Due, which identifies artists who have persevered for decades, yet only recently received the spotlight they deserve. Now in its third edition, the feature was developed by the Artsy staff, in collaboration with our network of international curators and art professionals. Explore more of The Artsy Vanguard 2020.
Header and thumbnail image, from left to right: Daniel Lind-Ramos, “Centinelas (Sentinels),” 2013. Photo by Erica Lambeth; Portrait of Daniel Lind-Ramos by Raquel Puig; Daniel Lind-Ramos, “Figura de Cangrejos (Figure of Crab),” 2018–19. Photo by Pierre Le Hors; Daniel Lind-Ramos, “Con-junto (The Ensemble),” 2015. Photo by Pierre Le Hors. All images: courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Gallery, New York.