This Edition of “In the Gallery Now” Vera Klement and Dan Ramirez: Body and Spirit

Ramirez+%28left+and+right%29+and+Kelment+%28center%29+works.+Photos+Provided+by+GSU%27s+Visual+Gallery+Facebook+Page.
Ramirez (left and right) and Kelment (center) works. Photos Provided by GSU's Visual Gallery Facebook Page.

Ramirez (left and right) and Kelment (center) works. Photos Provided by GSU's Visual Gallery Facebook Page.

Visual Gallery Staff

Visual Gallery Staff

Ramirez (left and right) and Kelment (center) works. Photos Provided by GSU's Visual Gallery Facebook Page.

Victoria Phan, Contributing Writer

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Visual Gallery Staff
Ramirez (left and right) and Kelment (center) works. Photos Provided by GSU’s Visual Gallery Facebook Page.

A few weeks ago the Visual Arts Gallery hosted two professional Chicago Artists for a talk about their relationship and highly contradistinctive painting styles.  Artists Vera Klement and Dan Ramirez are a mentor, mentee duo and now long time colleagues. They have known each other for over 40 years, are both represented by the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery of Chicago, but have never shown their work together.  No one recognized the connection between their work until curator Elizabeth Whiting picked up on an off-the-cuff and yet profoundly made statement by Ramirez that “Vera is most responsible for what’s happened in my career”.

Klement was a new professor at the University of Chicago where she mentored Ramirez as a graduate student. Both Klement and Ramirez employ an abstract style; Klement using figurative abstraction and Ramirez geometric minimalism.  When visiting the gallery, one will notice the difference right away.

During the artist talk, guests learned significant details of the artists’ lives. For example, as a young child Klement’s Jewish family fled their home of The Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) when the city elected a Nazi mayor and emigrated to New York. Klement knew at a very young age she would strive to be an artist. Ramirez talked of being a semi-truck driver for seventeen years prior to attending college never expecting to be an artist, but always appreciative of the arts.  He was in his thirties when he began pursuing higher education.

Although the exhibition was originally brought together on ideas of both artists using the language of abstraction and their long relationship, that they are both inspired by music, literature, poetry, ideas of the sublime, and works from other artists, the conversation revealed that this pair of artists ultimately seem to have a passion for the experience that art offers in common.

Our guest curator, Elizabeth Whiting has written a wonderful curator’s statement about these two artists individual backgrounds, relationship, and an in-depth analysis on each one’s style of painting.  It is available for reading in the gallery.

The Klement/Ramirez: Body and Spirit exhibition will be up through the end of September.  The next show will continue our mentor, mentee theme with GSU’s painting professor, Javier Chavira and his former painting student Jonathan Casserilla. The exhibition open October 9 with an opening reception on Wednesday, Oct 11th at 5 p.m.  Join us for our next artist talk! They’re always entertaining, revealing, and uplifting! 

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This Edition of “In the Gallery Now” Vera Klement and Dan Ramirez: Body and Spirit