Rafael Ferrer



Puerto Rican multi-media artist Rafael Ferrer was born in Santurce in 1933. Trained initially as a musician, he pursued a career in Afro-Caribbean jazz before turning to art after studying with Spanish surrealist Eugenio Granell, a Spanish Civil War exile, at the University of Puerto Rico. A friendship with Wifredo Lam, through whom he met André Breton, solidified his interest in art. Throughout a long and fruitful career, Ferrer has worked in sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, conceptual and installation art.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the 1993 Pew Fellowship in the Art and a 2011 Annalee and Barnett Newman Foundation Grant. He has lived and worked in Long Island, NY, since 1999. A major retrospective of his work was organized by the Museo Del Barrio in 2010 titled Retro/Active followed by a Survey of Works on Paper at the Lancaster Museum of Art from September 7 – November 11, 2012.

Rafael Ferrer’s excellent website can be found here.

For more on his life and career read Karin Lipson’s profile, Belated Acclaim for an Artist With a Restless Sensibility, in the New York Times.

Watch Rafael Ferrer discuss his work in “Nothing…is what it is” an illustrated talk by Rafael Ferrer (Parts 1 & 2);



He is represented in Fluid Ecologies by two works:

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Rafael Ferrer (Puerto Rican, b. 1933), Cuando despierte (When It Awakens), 1975. Oil crayon and watercolor on paper. 44 1/4 x 60 in. (112.4 x 152.4 cm). Purchase, Barbara Doyle Duncan, class of 1943, Fund for Contemporary Latin American Drawings 1976.77

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Rafael Ferrer (Puerto Rican, b. 1933), Untitled (The Atelier Project 1983-1986), 1984. Carborundum print on Somerset paper. Image: 15 9/16 x 11 1/2 in. (39.53 x 29.21 cm); Sheet: 29 7/8 x 22 3/8 in. (75.88 x 56.83 cm). Gift of Philip and Lynn Straus, class of 1946. 1991.22.4