Dan Ramirez was born in Chicago in 1941. He received a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1975 and an MFA from the University of Chicago in 1977. Ramirez taught at Columbia College, Chicago from 1977-78, the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1978-87, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987-99 where he is currently Professor Emeritus. He was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2005. Ramirez’ work has been exhibited in the US as well as in Spain, Scotland, Mexico, Germany and Italy. It has been featured in over 30 solo exhibitions since 1974 and may be found in numerous private, corporate and public collections. He is currently represented by the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago.


“…Through my work I’m always exploring the possibility of creating metaphor and narrative through geometric abstraction. I love storytelling even though I recognize that few viewers will fully appreciate how it plays out in my work. And it’s certainly not necessary to understand all the issues I’m dealing with to respond to my paintings.

Quite often the issues I explore in my work have something to do with the unknown… with things that lie beyond our knowledge or defy certainty.

…the very fact that we can even think about the unknown fascinated me. I love science and can recall as a young child lying in bed and pondering the limits of what could be known. I could imagine there was no Earth, no solar system, no universe—and it would really scare me that I could think beyond this to—well, to nothing! What could nothing be? How could I even think about it?

Today I’m still preoccupied with knowing—with how we know things, with the boundaries of our knowledge, with the unknowable. The subjects that fascinate me may come from philosophy or science, religion or mysticism, literature or music, and I create visual metaphors for them through my art… I pose questions for myself, but I’m not really seeking or expecting definitive answers. Rather through my art I’m paying tribute to these subjects of contemplation.”

This approach allows me to maintain the freedom to explore areas of interest that have been shaped and reshaped by contemporary modes of investigation and exploration. I use color, light, form, illusion and/or flat space and, at times, sound, animation and video to explore that experience. I tend to see my work as a form of Minimalist/Baroque.

*Quotation excerpted from “An Interview with Artist Dan Ramirez, Geoform, Julie Karabenick http://www.geoform.net

Present activities are focused on a multi-media collaboration that incorporates music, animation and digital imagery with classical piano accompaniment at the Royal School of Music, London; A one-person exhibition March, 25-October 9, 2016 at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Il., and a one-person exhibition October 7, 2016 at Zola/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, Il.