Dan Smajo-Ramirez

Veritas/ Lumen/ Res #19, 1986

American, 1941

Working within the tradition of an abstract formalist’s vocabulary, Dan Ramirez’s expressive aspiration is to reveal experiences of the soul. Often inspired by music or philosophy, his art is known to evoke religious or spiritual associations.

In this charcoal drawing, a carefully articulated abstract form gracefully ascends, progressing from an intense blackness to a bright whiteness at its uppermost point. The light at the tapered end is further emphasized by the whiteness of the surrounding page. In the title are the words “Vertias,” who in Roman mythology was the goddess of truth, while “lumen,” or light, suggest that this drawing is part of a series and an inquiry into the spiritual nature of light.

Ramirez, known for his richly expressive geometric paintings, has exhibited nationally and internationally for 35 years. He is represented in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the State of Illinois Collection, Chicago. Along with other Chicago-based artists such as William Conger, Miyoko Ito and Frank Piatek, Ramirez represents an important tradition of non-representational art that has had a parallel existence with Chicago’s more familiar Imagist or figurative tradition.

Gift of Mel Theobald, 2005