A landmark exhibition of Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos at MoMA

Baño de María. 2018-2022. Assemblage. 
127 x 120 x 48 inches (320 x 243.8 x 121.9 centimeters) Photo: Ryan Gamma

LONG ISLAND CITY, New York - MoMA PS1 will present the largest museum exhibition to date of the work of multidisciplinary artist Daniel Lind-Ramos (b. 1953, Loíza, Puerto Rico). On view from April 20 to September 4, 2023, the exhibition will showcase ten monumental sculptures and two video works that weave together the artist’s multi-layered practice, including four new large-scale works created for the exhibition. Based in Loíza, whose vibrant culture has been shaped by its Afro-Puerto Rican population, Lind-Ramos uses found and gifted objects of personal, communal, and regional significance—such as debris, decorative objects, and everyday tools—to produce meticulously detailed assemblages that explore the connected histories and enduring practices of local communities in Puerto Rico and Afro-descendent traditions throughout the Caribbean. Daniel Lind-Ramos: El Viejo Griot — Una historia de todos nosotros features works that honor fast-disappearing local customs of agriculture, fishing, cooking, and masquerade alongside landmark sculptures examine the repercussions of Hurricane Maria (2017), culminating with two large-scale works made within the last year that address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. 

Armario de la Memoria. 2012. Assemblage. 108 × 65 × 36 inches (274.3 × 165.1 × 91.4 centimeters). Photo: Pierre Le Hors.

Both created for the exhibition, Centinelas de la luna negra (2022–23) and El Viejo Griot (2022–23) explore how Puerto Rican identity has been shaped by more than 500 years of colonialism, cultural erasure, and environmental destruction. Centinelas de la luna negra references the harvest of mangroves in the beach community of Piñones, considering the mangrove’s cultural, spiritual, and ecological importance as a protector against erosion and the effects of climate change. El Viejo Griot, or “elder storyteller,” draws inspiration from a character in Loíza’s annual Fiestas de Santiago Apóstol to invoke critical events in Puerto Rico’s history. Additionally, two new works created during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambulancia (2020) (2022–23) and Alegoría de una obsesión (2022–23), incorporate objects like emergency lights and cleaning tools to explore collective experiences of trauma and loss. 

Figura Emisaria. 2020. Steel, palm tree branches, dried coconuts, branches, palm tree trunks, wood panels, burlap, concrete blocks, glass, aluminum, fabric, lights, 108 × 60 × 47 in. (274.3 × 152.4 × 119.4 cm.) Photo: Pierre Le Hors.

Also on view is Lind-Ramos’s complete series of three monumental works, Las Tres Marías, which draws on the contradictions between Maria as a revered saint and the devastation and loss of Hurricane Maria, which forever changed the ecosystem of the island. Combining materials the artist collected after the hurricane with items given to him by friends and neighbors, Lind-Ramos’s works echo the experiential elements of the storm—wind, rain, thunder, and lightning—while also referencing how communities in Puerto Rico came together in its aftermath. 

Daniel Lind-Ramos lives and works in Loíza, Puerto Rico. He received a BA from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA from New York University. He was the recipient of a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant; the 2020 Pérez Prize; and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2021. Lind-Ramos has been featured in solo and group exhibitions globally, and his work is in major collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, San Juan; and Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan. Daniel Lind-Ramos: El Viejo Griot — Una historia de todos nosotros is co-organized by Kate Fowle, guest curator, and Ruba Katrib, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, MoMA PS1, with Elena Ketelsen González, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1. 

SUPPORT Daniel Lind-Ramos: El Viejo Griot — Una historia de todos nosotros is made possible with major support from the Henry Luce Foundation.