press release

Miami Art Museum (MAM) presents the first museum exhibition in the United States of collaborative works by artists Janine Antoni and Paul Ramírez Jonas. The exhibition is organized by Miami Art Museum and curated by Lorie Mertes, MAM curator, as part of the museum’s New Work series of projects by contemporary artists.

Janine Antoni and Paul Ramírez Jonas presents two major works, one of which has been commissioned especially for this exhibition by MAM and is the first piece visitors will encounter upon entering the gallery. Titled Mirror, the work is a massive sculpture that dominates the center of the space and consists of a stairway made from 26 stacked wood beams – each beam 12 x 12-inches -- and a free-standing curtain that is seven-foot tall and runs for 25 feet. Made of heavy red fabric, the curtain spans the length of the space dividing the room in half by appearing to magically enter and exit cleanly through the middle of the stairs. Visitors can negotiate their path through the gallery by walking around the curtain or by using the imposing stairway. The title, Mirror, refers to the physical nature of the piece and the viewer’s participatory experience. The second work, Always New, Always Familiar, is a room-sized video installation that consists of two views of the seascape filmed simultaneously from the front and back of a moving boat.

In each of these works there are distinct points of negotiation between two separate and sometimes disparate elements that combine to create a single work. While physically very different, each of the works are similar in that they map or diagram aspects of a relationship, stressing separation as well as union.

Janine Antoni and Paul Ramírez Jonas are internationally recognized artists each known for their distinct bodies of work. Less well known is the fact that the married couple, with family ties to South Florida, has been creating collaborative videos and photographs since 1999. Focusing on process, the passage of time and the trace of the body, their collaborative works serve as poetic metaphors for the nature of relationships.

“I have long admired the work of each artist and was very intrigued when I discovered that they had collaborated over the years,” said Curator Lorie Mertes. “It’s not unusual for artists to collaborate in order to explore ideas and processes that may not evolve from their individual work. The results of these collaborations vary widely, however. In the case of Janine and Paul, I was excited at how this particular melding of artistic sensibilities resulted in something entirely new and compelling.”

About the Artists

Janine Antoni Janine Antoni was born in Freeport, Bahamas in 1964. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Antoni has had major exhibitions of her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; S.I.T.E. Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. The recipient of several prestigious awards including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 1999, Janine Antoni currently resides in New York.

Antoni is known for works that blur the distinction between performance art and sculpture. Transforming such everyday activities as eating, bathing, and sleeping into ways of making art, Antoni uses her own body as the primary tool for making sculpture. She has chiseled cubes of lard and chocolate with her teeth, washed away the faces of soap busts made in her own likeness, and used the brainwave signals recorded while she dreamed at night as a pattern for weaving a blanket the following morning. For her most recent work she learned to balance and fall from a tightrope.

Paul Ramírez Jonas Paul Ramirez Jonas was born in 1965 and raised in Honduras. He received his BA from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and earned an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Ramírez Jonas has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Beaver College Art Gallery, Glenside, PA; Postmasters Gallery, NY; White Cube, London; White Columns, New York; and Artists Space, NY. Group exhibitions include: Pictures, Patents, Monkeys and More...On Collecting at the ICA, Philadelphia in 2002; Every Day, Public Art Fund, New York; Globe>Miami

Janine Antoni & Paul Ramirez-Jonas
In The First Museum Exhibtition Of Their Collaborative Work
Kurator: Lorie Mertes