Date: Puerto Rican painter, sculptor, and installation artist, born 1933
Biography: Committed to figuration in the latter part of his career, Rafael Ferrer’s earliest works combine Process Art with minimal and conceptual art practices. Ferrer attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia and studied at Syracuse University. In 1952, he enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico, studying under the Spanish painter and writer, Eugenio Granell. In 1966, Ferrer moved to Philadelphia and began teaching at the Philadelphia College of Art.
His work from the late 1960s and early 1970s was characterized by densely-filled installations of found natural and industrial materials such as leaves, moss, telephone poles, and buckets. Ferrer's work was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1970s though later in the decade he switched modes dramatically and began to explore figurative painting focused on life in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In 2010, the Museo del Barrio in New York presented a major retrospective of his work.