Frieze New York

May 8 - 15, 2020 New York City

Ruiz-Healy Art is proud to present the work of César A. Martínez for Frieze New York 2020, which will be available to view in a Frieze Viewing Room due to COVID-19 closures. César A. Martínez (b. 1944, Laredo, TX) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in San Antonio. Martinez is a major figure in the Chicano Art Movement thanks to his work which is rooted in South Texas and Mexican American culture. His portraits are icons of Texas art history and reflect a broad knowledge of the history of art in both Europe and the Americas. His artwork allows him to explore his multicultural identity and provide familiarity to those often not represented in the arts.


César A. Martínez was a teenager during the early 1960s in his hometown, Laredo, Texas where pachucos (zoot-suiters), batos ("dudes"), and rucas (girls) were part of his everyday life. In contemporary Chicano culture, the pachuco is an endless source of curiosity and fascination. In this series of paintings, pachucos and batos are treated as both particular characters and as a social phenomenon featuring universalized composites of recognizable characteristics. Through thoughtful color choice, Martínez portrays invented subjects conveying individualistic moods and attitudes, isolated in abstract chromatic landscapes, rendering them unavoidable and even confrontative.