Dan Ramirez - "Certainty and Doubt" - Ann Sinfield, Richard Shiff, Buzz Spector
“Color. Surface. Shape. Light. Dramatic statements – not loud, but assured. Impressive. Seemingly immoveable. The graphite surfaces glow and reflect light…
Dark sections smother and swallow the light…Angles and lines appear and taper into nothingness, overcome by fields of soft color or joining into shapes of questionable dimension. The sides of canvases with subtle color or bold lines, or aluminum cladding that breaks away, demanding more space than allotted a mere stretcher. Shapes n white, textured surfaces, or raw areas of canvas, repeated, extended, broken apart. This is not just abstraction, it is a vocabulary, seemingly minimalist, but expressing more. This is a visual language, the phrases simple at first glance, but altered to accommodate a greater communicative need and expressive desire.” —Curator, Ann Sinfield, from the Introduction: "Certainty and Doubt: The Paintings of Dan Ramirez."
Dan Ramirez discusses "Certainty and Doubt: Paintings by Dan Ramirez." He will be joined in conversation by curator, Ann Sinfield and contributing essayist Buzz Spector. The panel will also include a reading submitted for the event by contributing essayist Richard Shiff.
At the Co-op
About the book: Drawn from Madison and Midwestern collections, this exhibition highlights the artistic vision of Chicago-based artist Dan Ramirez. For over forty years Ramirez has employed a consistent visual language to explore abstraction, religion, music, and play in paintings, prints, drawings, and digital media.
Adapting the language of minimalism with a late twentieth century experience, Ramirez’ work is both personal and multifaceted. Featuring recent work along with paintings inspired by his early print portfolio, "Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus: An Homage to Olivier Messiaen," the artist delves into the spiritual, but also considers the relationship between the act of making music and the making of art. He plays with materials and perception in a process that is deeply intellectual, creating work that is precise and arresting.
About Dan Ramirez: Dan Ramirez has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for over forty years. His work is in numerous private collections as well as major museums such as the Chazen Museum of art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The National Museum of Mexican, Art, The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, St. Louis, to name a few. “Adapting the language of minimalism…Ramirez’ art is both personal and multifaceted… In the interplay between physical space and perception… - or what is seen and what is uncertain - the artist wrestles visually with faith and doubt, a conflict that has been carried out throughout his career…” Ramirez is a graduate of the University of Chicago (MFA ’77)
About Ann Sinfield: Ann Sinfield is exhibitions manager at the Chazen Musem of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Along with coordinating the curatorial planning for a $45M building expansion at the Chazen, she has also been a successful fundraiser and grant writer. In 2017 she had the pleasure of curating, "Certainty and Doubt: Paintings by Dan Ramirez," a major exhibition accompanied by a significant publication of the work by this national and internationally recognized Chicago artist. Ann is a graduate of Humboldt State University, and has an MA and MSI from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
About Richard Shiff: Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. His scholarly work has focused on modern and contemporary art, and he has written about such wide ranging artists as Ellsworth Kelly, Bridget Riley, Willem de Kooning, Richard Serra, Peter Doig, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, Julie Mehretu, and Barnett Newman. His publications include "Cézanne and the End of Impressionism" (1984), "Critical Terms for Art History" (co edited, 1996, 2003), "Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonné" (co authored, 2004), "Doubt" (2008), "Between Sense and de Kooning" (2011), and "Ellsworth Kelly: New York Drawings 1954–1962" (2014). Richard Shiff was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, University of Chicago, 1974-78.
About Buzz Spector: Buzz Spector is an artist, writer, and Professor of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Spector is an internationally known artist whose works make frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. Buzzwords, a volume of selected interviews of Spector, was published in 2012 by Sara Ranchouse, Chicago. Spector has also written essays for numerous exhibition catalogs and anthologies. Spector (MFA ’78) was a classmate of Dan Ramirez in the MFA program at the University of Chicago.
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