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Academic Staff

Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz

Associate Professor - Section Head in the 

History of Art & Discourse of Art division

+27 (0)21 650 7137

 

 

Dr. Martinez-Ruiz earned his B.A. from Havana University in 1994 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 2004. He is an Art Historian with expertise in African and Caribbean artistic, visual, and religious practices. After holding positions at Havana’s High Institute of Art from 1993-1997, the Rhode Island School of Design from 2002-2004 and in Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History from 2004-2013, Dr. Martinez-Ruiz came to the University Of Cape Town in 2014. His books include Kongo Graphic Writing and Other Narratives of the Sign, Temple University Press, 2013 (English) and El Colegio de México, 2012 (Spanish); Faisal Abdu’Allah: On the Art of Dislocation, Centro Atlántico de Art Moderno Press, 2012 and Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Yale University Press, 2007, which was awarded the Alfred H. Barr Prize by the College Art Association.

Other recent publications include “Ma kisi Nsi: L’art de habitants de region de Mbanza Kongo”, in Angola Figures de Pouvoir (Paris: Dapper Museum Press, 2010), “Writing Bodies in the Bakongo Atlantic Experience”, in Performances: Challenges for Art and Anthropology (Quai Branly Museum Press, 2010), “Funerary Pots of the Kongo in Central Africa”, in African Terra Cotta: A Millenary Heritage (Geneva: Musee Barbier Mueller Press, 2008) and “The Impossible Reflection: A New Approach to African Themes in Wifredo Lam’s Art”, in Wifredo Lam (Miami: Perez Art Museum Press, 2008).

Dr. Martinez-Ruiz curated Things that Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles and The Frost Museum, Miami (2012-2013), On the Art of Dislocation at the Centro Atlántico de Art Moderno, Spain (2012), Call and Response: Journeys in African Art at the Yale University Art Gallery (2001), and Marks of the Soul: Poetics, Philosophies, and Religions –Eight Caribbean Artists at the University Galleries, Florida Atlantic University (2001). Current curatorial projects and publications include Digital Objects: A Retrospective of Chuck Close, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Spain 2015, Spirituality in the Art of the Caribbean, Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles 2017 and Unwrapping the Universe: Kongo Art and Cosmology in Central Africa, The Ethnographic Museum, Geneva, The Tropenmuseum, Holland and The Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium, 2018.

D. Martinez-Ruiz also serves as editor for the Cuban Studies Magazine and for Harvard University’s Transition magazine and is a Pacific Standard Time LA/LA research fellow from 2014-2017 at The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles California.

 

Solo Exhibitions

  • 1998 “Angola Syndrome.” (Installation), Birmingham Museum of Art. Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1997 “Energía Museable No.1” (Photo installations), Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1995 “La Selva Negra.” (Installations and objects) CDAV. Cienfuegos, Cuba.
  • 1993 “Relatos de insomnio.” ( Drawings). Galería Casa de la Comedia. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1993 “De cómo una cabeza pudo crearse cuerpo, alma, fortaleza.” (Drawings), Galería Luis de Soto, Univeristy of Havana. Havana, Cuba.
  • “Envés alucinante de la existencia cotidiana.” (Paintings and drawings) Galería Imago. Gran Teatro de la Habana. Havana, Cuba.

Group Exhibitions

  • 1998 “Congo Criollo.” (Installation), Taller Boricua Gallery. New York, New York.
  • 1998 “Esquirla(s),” Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. January-February. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1997 V Salón “Abelardo Rodríguez,” V Coloquio Iberoamericano de Fotografía Habana´97, Galería L, University of Havana. Cuba.
  • 1997 “A… des_focus,” Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1997 “El ocultamiento de las almas.” CDAV. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1996 “Juez y Parte.” Galería Luis de Soto, Facultad de Artes y Letras. University of Havana. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1996 “Alto contraste” (Segundo Coloquio Nacional de Artes Plásticas de la AHS),
  • 1996 Galería Guernica del Centro de Arte de Las Tunas. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1996 “Giro de tuerca.” Galería del Taller de Serigrafía “René Portocarrero.” Havana, Cuba.
  • 1996 “Río Almendares: ni fresa ni chocolate.” CENCREM. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1996 “Las otras escri(p)turas.” Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1995 “Relaciones Inconexas, Limonada.” Taller de Serigrafía René Portocarrero. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1995 “Archaologie des verstandes,” Goethe_Institute. Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • 1994 “Espejos del Ser” ( Drawings ) Galería Triángulo. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1994 “Las jaulas del alma.” Galería Triángulo. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1994 “Arqueología del Espíritu.” Galería L. University of Havana. Havana, Cuba.
  • 1994 “Otros sin ser otros.” Galería Triángulo. Havana, Cuba.

Awards

2008 College Art Association, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award. Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Eds. Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007).
The New York Times. New Most notable Volumes Published this Year. Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art. “Flying over Dikenga: The Circle of New Life,” in Inscribing Meaning. (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2007).

2007 Times Literary Supplement. Book of the Year. Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Eds. Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007).

 

Publications

In Progress
Unwrapping the Universe: Art and Cosmology in Central Africa, Volumes I-II (Milan: 5Continents Editions, 2014-2015).

Digital Objects: A Retrospective of Chuck Close. (Madrid-Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno Press, 2014).

Chronicles of an Everyday Lightness: The Art of Carlos Luna. (Milan: 5Continents Editions, 2015).

Books

* Kongo Graphic Writing and other Narratives of the Sign. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013).

*Translation: Kongo Graphic Writing and other Narratives of the Sign. (Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico Press, 2012).
Faisal Abdu’Allah: On the Art of Dislocation. (Las Palmas-Madrid: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno Press, 2012).

Edited Books / Catalogues

*Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Eds. Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007).

Words: From Spoken to Seen. Co-edited with Alyson Purpura (San Jose, CA.: Mexican Heritage Corporation, 2005).
Odantalan 02. Co-edited with Victor Gama. (Lisbon: Pangeiart & Prince Claus Fund, 2002).

Chapters in Books

*“At the Borderland of Empire: African Cultures in the Making of Victorian Jamaica,” in Victorian Jamaican, Eds. Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013).

*“Kongo Ins-(ex)piration in Contemporary Art,” in Kongo across the Waters, Eds. Susan Cooksey, Robin Poynor and Hein Vanhee. (University Press of Florida, 2012).

“Ma kisi Nsi: L’art de habitants de region de Mbanza Kongo” in Angola figures de pouvoir. (Paris: Dapper Museum Press, 2010).

“Writing Bodies in the Bakongo Atlantic Experience,” in Performances: Challenges for Art and Anthropology. (Quai Branly Museum Press, 2010).

*“Funerary Pots of the Kongo in Central Africa,” in African Terra Cotta: A Millenary Heritage. (Geneva: Musee Barbier Mueller Press, 2008).

*“Sketches of Memory: Visual Encounters with Africa in Jamaican Culture,” in Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Eds. Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007).

*“Flying over Dikenga: The Circle of New Life,” in Inscribing Meaning. (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2007).

Major Articles
Things That Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive. (Los Angeles-Miami: California African American Museum-Frost Museum, 2013).

“The Impossible Reflection: A New Approach to African Themes in Wifredo Lam’s Art,” in Wifredo Lam. (Miami: Miami Art Museum Press, 2008).

*“African Cartography,” in New Encyclopedia of Africa, Eds. John Middleton and Joseph Miller. (New York: Thomson Press, 2007).

“Speaking in Action” in Odantalan. (Lisbon: Pangeiart & Prince Claus Fund, 2002).

“Marks of the Soul,” in Marks of the Soul: Poetics, Philosophies, Religions – Eight Caribbean Artists. (Boca Raton: Florida Atlantic University Press, 2001).

“Mambo Comes from the Soul” in Call and Response: Journeys in African Art. (New Haven: Yale University Gallery Press, 2000).

Shorter Articles and Book Reviews

“Fluid Psalm: Writing without Words,” in Words: From Spoken to Seen. (San Jose, CA.: Mexican Heritage Corporation, 2005).

“Nailing Memory” in Albert Chong Photographs. (Barbados: Barbados National Art Gallery. 2004).

“Mambo from the Heart.” In Pangeia Instrumentos, Reconstrucionismo Permanente. (Lisbon: Pangeiart, 2000).

Exhibition Reviews and Pamphlets

“Lázaro Saavedra, en Ojo Vídeo” (Havana: Ed Taller de Serigrafía René Portocarrero, 1996).

“Franklin Alverez, Los Motivos de Hércules” (Havana: CDAT, 1996).

“Luis E. Camejo. Algunas Anotaciones sobre una Transición Esperada” (Havana: ISA, 1996).

“Raúl Cordero, José Angel Vincench. Las Palabras y los Objetos” (Havana: Galería 23 y 12, 1996).

“Ernesto Benintez, Marcas de Indiferncia” (Havana: Edición Privada Galería L, 1996).

“Omar Pascual Castillo. Aprendizaje Número Cero” (Havana: Artist-published, 1996).

“Ibrahim Miranda. Resumen de una Historia,” (Havana: C.W. Lam, 1996).

“ Jorge Luis Santana. Abierto por Inventario” (Havana: CDAV, 1996).

“Del lobo un Pelo: Estudios sobre Arte Contemporáneo Cubano” (Havana: Ed. Letras Cubanas, (en proceso de edición), 1995.

“Casey Stoll, Itinerarios Perdidos” (Havana: CDAV, 1995).

“Lázaro Saavedra Gonzalez, La imagen de la imagen, una imagen de Lázaro” in (Havana: FCBC, 1995).

“Bárbaro Martínez, Aldophe Lechtenberg, and Julia Lohmann: Arqueología del Espíritu” (Düsseldorf: Goethe Institute, 1995).

“Mayte González, Empty Moon” (Havana: Galería Kalho, 1995).

“Frank E. Martínez: Alternativas de una Señal” (Havana: Galería Juan David, 1995).

“Manuel Arenas, Negro sobre Negro” (Havana: Galería Luis de Soto, 1994).

*Peer Reviewed

Collections

United States, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Croatia, England, Angola, Portugal and Cuba.

Professional Activities and Services:

2015-2017 Research Fellow and Guest Curator for Pacific Standard Time, The J. Paul Getty Research Institute and The Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles California.

2013-2018 Book Review Editor, Cuban Studies Journal, Harvard University.

2013 Visiting Scholar, Arts Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2011 Guest faculty member, the Institute, Critical Global Humanities: Life Forms, Language and Sounds of the New, Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI).

2009-present Member of Research Group, Center for Asia and Africa Studies (CEAA), El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City.

2009-present Member of Research Group (GDIR), “Circulation des pratiques culturelles: esthétisation et ethnicisation”, Quai Branly Museum, Paris.

2004-2010 Member, Advisory Board, Museum for African Diaspora, San Francisco.

2002- present Co-Director, Pangeia Cultural Association (Amsterdam and Lisbon).

2001 Program Coordinator, Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University.

2001 Editorial Assistant, The Hispanic American Historical Review (HAHR), Duke University Press.

2001 Member, Advisory Committee, The Cuban Artist Fund, New York.

2001 Member, Committee for Mimi Lobell Advanced Architectural Design Studio at Pratt Institute, New York.

2000-2001 Fellow and Research Assistant for African Art, Yale University Art Gallery.

2000 Coordinator, Instrumentos Pangeia, Lisbon 2000.

1999-2000 Fellow & Assistant Advisor in African and Caribbean Art at the Timothy Dwight College, Yale University.

1999 Volunteer, The Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute.

1998 Designed installations about African philosophy and religion based on research conducted in New York libraries along with personal interviews with religious practitioners in the New York area.

1997 Director and Scenarist for the film “Blending Emotion,” an artistic reflection on the Angolan civil war. Belgium and Angola.

1996 Video Producer for films on contemporary performance and art exhibitions in Cuba to be used for educational and research purposes. Havana, Cuba.

1996 Editor, Cuadernos de Artistas (The Artist’s Notebooks), for Taller de Serigrafía Artística: René Portocarrero del FCBC. Havana, Cuba.

1995 Artist, produced art works and developed career opportunities as a member of The Association of “Hermanos Saínz” for Young Artists and Creators. Havana, Cuba.

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