Where to buy … Martin Ramirez

The Week, November 14, 2008

Martin Ramirez: The Last Works
Ricco Maresca Gallery
New York City


Martin Ramirez is one of the quintessential “outsider” artists—an untrained former migrant worker who lived out three decades in an asylum, creating drawings with colored pencils and scraps of paper lent by caretakers. His distinctive motifs include cartoonish cowboys, gunslingers, and trains, all set in vertiginous landscapes defined by his zigzag lines. Only about 300 of these ornate drawings were known until last year when—amazingly—another 130 were discovered, dramatically increasing his known output. The cowboys are still here. Most striking, however, are images of tunnels, at once reminiscent of crypts, doorways, and the cliff dwellings of America’s Southwest. 529 W. 20th St., through Nov. 29. Prices range from $80,000 to $400,000.