Virginia Pérez-Ratton

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Virginia Pérez-Ratton
Virginia Pérez-Ratton died 2010.jpg
Virginia Pérez Johnston

(1950-09-16)16 September 1950
Died6 October 2010(2010-10-06) (aged 60)
Cartago, Costa Rica
NationalityCosta Rican
EducationUniversity of Costa Rica, École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs
AwardsMagón National Prize for Culture

Virginia Pérez-Ratton is the pseudonym for Virginia Pérez Johnston (1950–2010).[1] She was a Costa Rican artist, art historian, art critic and curator. She devoted a large part of her life to the promotion of visual arts and the development of artists in Central America and the Caribbean.[2]


Virginia Pérez Johnston was born on September 16, 1950 in San José, Costa Rica.[1][3][4]

Pérez-Ratton obtained her academic degree in French literature at the University of Costa Rica. She got her first artistic study in France from Grace Blanco (drawing), Lola Fernández (painting) and Juan Luis Rodríguez (engraving). In 1987 she went on for a study of Engraving at the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, and later continued this study in Strasbourg.[3]

Since 1994, Pérez-Ratton was the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in San José. She organized a series of exhibitions of regional artists and stimulated many artistic initiatives. One of these, was her foundation in 1999 of the art center TEOR/éTica, with the goal to promote contemporary art from the region. She organized several conferences and international exhibitions.[2][3][5]

In 2002 she was honored with a Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands. The jury described her as a re-inventor of Central America. According to the jury, she "managed to bring together the different artistic terrains of this fragmented and isolated region. With enormous tenacity she introduced artistic environments in and from Central America to each other and to the rest of the world."[5]

In 2009 she received the Magón National Prize for Culture of the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture and Youth.[6] The Magón Prize is the highest cultural award, granted by the Costa Rican State.[7]

The last years of her life, Pérez-Ratton struggled with cancer. The disease turned out to be fatal, she died in her house in Concepción de Tres Ríos, Cartago, Costa Rica on October 6, 2010.[3]

Bibliography (selection)[edit]

  • 1996: Mesótica II: Centroamérica, Re-Generación, with Rolando Castellón, ISBN 978-9968-9824-1-2
  • 1998: Centroamérica Y El Caribe: Una Historia En Blanco Y Negro
  • 2000: Costa Rica En La VII Bienal De La Habana: Cuba, with Alessandro Tosatti ISBN 9968899046
  • 2001: Bienal Internacional de Pintura, with Adrián Arguedas, Emilia Villegas em Joaquín Rodriguez del Paso, ISBN 9968997633
  • 2002: Priscilla Monge: Armas Equívocas, with Priscilla Monge
  • 2003: Héctor Burke: Un Desaparecido, with Héctor Burke, ISBN 9968899100
  • 2003: Liliana Porter: Una "Puesta En Imágenes, with Liliana Porter, ISBN 9968899119
  • 2004: Iconofagia, with Tamara Díaz
  • 2005: Enfoques A Distancia Sobre La Producción De Cultura En La Situación Contemporánea, with Nikos Papastergiadis en Carlos Capelán, ISBN 978-9968899192
  • 2006: Estrecho Dudoso, with Tamara Díaz, ISBN 9789968899222
  • 2007: Rolando Castellón, with Rolando Castellón, Rolando Castellón en Tamara Díaz, ISBN 978-9968899239
  • 2009: Lida Abdul, with Lida Abdul, Els van der Plas en Nikos Papastergiadis, ISBN 978-8877572233


  1. ^ a b Prince Claus Fund (2002) Press report on the presentation of the Prince Claus Awards 2002]
  2. ^ a b Hivos (2010) Virginia Perez Ratton, moeder van de beeldende kunst in Midden Amerika, overleden Archived 2014-11-10 at the Wayback Machine (in Dutch)
  3. ^ a b c d Chinchilla U., Darío (7 October 2010) Falleció Virginia Pérez-Ratton, Premio Magón del 2009, La Nación (in Spanish)
  4. ^ "Virginia Pérez-Ratton 1950-2010, CR". ArtFacts.Net. ArtFacts.Net Ltd. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b Prince Claus Fund, profile
  6. ^ Fundación Cisneros, biography
  7. ^ "VIRGINIA PEREZ-RATTON 1950-2010". Centre for the Aesthetic Revolution. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2014.