In Praise of Form: Towards a New Post-Humanist Art

I’m honored to have my artwork included as an example for the thesis of Taney Roniger in her current essay, In Praise of Form, published online in Interalia Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“…a post-humanist art would be one of transcendence. For with the thinker that thought itself into the center of the world silenced, we become living organisms again just like all others, participating in, and exquisitely sensitive to, the dynamic flux of the natural world.”

The full article is available here, generously provided without paywall by Interalia:

In Praise of Form: Towards a New Post-Human Art

“The Wind Turning in Circles Invents the Dance,” 2019. Acrylic on acrylic panel, 19″ x 18″.

“The Wind Turning in Circles Invents the Dance,” 2019. Acrylic on acrylic panel, 19″ x 18″.

Opening May 11th

A Clearing : New Work by Sharon Brant & Debra Ramsay

KeyProjects, 4129 41st Street, #2G, Long Island City, NY

opening 3-5

gallery hours Saturday & Sunday through May 26th, 1-6, & by appointment

Graphite Veil 5, 19 x 18 inches, acrylic on acrylic panel, 2018

Graphite Veil 5, 19 x 18 inches, acrylic on acrylic panel, 2018

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver has passed. I will miss her words. Here is her poem, Praying:

"It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak."

Celebration of Color

I'm honored to be included in this excellent examination of the history of color.

Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Colour by David Coles

Thames and Hudson, Australia

This comprehensive and sensuous book, written by acclaimed paint-maker David Coles, is based on the exhibition of the same name, curated by Coles and Louise Blyton, which took place at Tacit Gallery in Melbourne, 2017. My painting, An Apple in 13 Colors, was included in the show and is in the book.


One can order by sending an email to   INFO@CHROMATOPIA.ORG   

One can order by sending an email to INFO@CHROMATOPIA.ORG 

Three Shelf Redder

“Three Shelf Redder” Exhibition Opens at Space 325/325, April 15, 7-9pm

 Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday 4/16, 22, 23, 29, 30 1-4pmor by appointment with the artists.


This body of work is in keeping with my previous conceptually driven explorations of color yet offers a new strain of exploration, transposing words to color. The paintings are crude, on purpose, showing their failure, expressing time and adjustments.

from the press release:

Ridgewood, NY, April 9, 2017

Two women arrive at a party, are introduced to one another by the host who suggests a kinship between their work. Studio visits are arranged, the mutual intersection within the work is realized, an offer to exhibit comes forward.

The meaning of words, mountains, nature, memory, amplifying structures and colors are the crossover points between the work of Shen and Ramsay.

Debra Ramsay’s artwork is conceptually rigorous and process-oriented. The idea comes first; the search for materials, methods and procedures that will best support the idea follows. For “Three Shelf Redder” Ramsay is introducing a body of work created from obscure and off-beat definitions of color, sourced from The Dictionary of Colour, by Ian Paterson. “Redder,” for example, is the title of a painting based on the only palindromic color word in the English language. These monochromatic paintings work with color and light, as their translucent supports and layers of colors react with the ambient light. Ramsay is concerned with many of the principles the Light and Space artists of the 60’s as well as the humor that can be packed in conceptual art such as in the work of contemporary artist Spencer Finch.

Hilda Shen’s new sculptures are small, displayed in a way that emphasizes our physical reaction to scale.  One leans in to focus and scrutinize the details, and there is an urge to touch these glazed ceramic pieces.  There are two projects which are developed here:  “Range of Mountains” reinterprets the tradition of Chinese scholar rocks as objects of contemplation; “Northwest” is inspired by Shen’s studies of Pacific Northwest forests, the transformation of energy from immense decaying nurse logs to young saplings. In “Three Shelf Redder” Shen continues her long-standing interest in landscape and the reciprocal influence of culture and nature.





Hue[s]pace Installation Views

Hue[s]pace at ODETTA gallery, running through Oct 9th.

Hue[s]pace continues Ramsay’s investigation of color, location, and time.  The installation, Hue, Place, Pace, One Year of Color, cascades 14 feet from the ceiling and undulates 23 feet across the floor, specifically designed for the gallery.  It translates a year of color change in a specific location in nature into an abstract three-dimensional object.

The 14 artworks in the exhibition demonstrate Debra’s thinking on color. It being something to be borrowed/captured/found photographically then interpreted into a paint formula with the aid of a computer program, not harming or physically altering anything from its original condition. There is no intuitive color selection at play. This is painting in the digital realm. Her rigorous color system exploits an idea Josef Albers spoke of, the “…profound harmony in the immeasurable spectrum of color”.

The sources of these colors come from the natural environment, either a color that is surrounding, such as the sky, or a color from something miniscule, as a flower petal, that could easily be overlooked. Ramsay 's viewpoint is, "There’s no human design to nature, it’s true on its own terms, no egonot harming or physically altering anything from its original condition. I want to make work that feels bluntly true. Simple. The most simple it can get."

Time is evident in a variety of ways. The installation is segmented into colors from each of the four seasons. Several wall works (acrylic on ¾ inch thick slabs of clear plexiglass) have titles such as Lichen Memory…where something has been painted over, then removed…allowing the viewer to see what is no longer there.  Time captured in an elusive way. The handling of the paint itself contributes a sense of time.  Thin veils of color laid over a translucent support, light pushing through the backs of the panels, and light changing within the environment all contribute to the shifting qualities within each painting and suggesting time itself.

Norte Maar offers a premier dance performance during Hue[s]pace at ODETTA

Norte Maar collaborates with ODETTA to present “a white room”

Photo credit: Reiko Yanagi and Steven Speliotis

Photo credit: Reiko Yanagi and Steven Speliotis

October 1, 2016, 6:00 pm-6:15 pm

Gleich Dances

Title: a white room

Choreographer: Julia K. Gleich

Dancers: Kara Chan, Ahmaud Culver, Tiffany Mangulabnan, Izabela Szylińska

Duration: 7 Minutes


Created during a Norte Maar / Dance at Socrates Residency 2016 at Socrates Sculpture Park.

“a white room” was made in parallel with Debra Ramsay’s investigations of “changes of color and repetitive serial systems”. The dance suggests the nature of a blank canvas upon which a series of evolving lines and color are drawn and structured. Working from the dancers’ own movement affinities and personalities, Gleich draws upon space, color, and character to create a textured and progressive dance.

Solo exhibition opening the fall Season At ODETTA

Lichen and Snow, acrylic on polyester resin, 20 x 16 inches, 2016

Lichen and Snow, acrylic on polyester resin, 20 x 16 inches, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 3.26.22 PM.png

With a faithful allegiance to geometry and its capacity to reveal profound truths, Debra Ramsay works with mathematical logic to generate or guide form in precise ways. In Hue(s)pace Ramsay become the conduit for the arrangement of shape and the placement of color, thus making time visible in her paintings.

Ramsay gathers her quantitative visual information about changes in color through repetitive and serial systems. Once she develops the system for a specific project, what remains is a form of meditation. What we gain is a time-lapse record of color’s shifts as seasons and life cycles change.


Lichen Memory 1, acrylic on plexiglass, 8.25 x 5.25. x.75 inches, 2016

Lichen Memory 1, acrylic on plexiglass, 8.25 x 5.25. x.75 inches, 2016

Debra Ramsay Hue(s)pace is the gallery’s nineteenth exhibition. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday September 9, from 6 – 8:00 pm.  Gallery hours are Friday thru Sunday 1-6 pm, and by appointment.

There will be an Artists Talk on Sunday October 2 at 3:00 pm. The gallery welcomes Norte Maar and Gleich Dances in series of dance performances during Bushwick Open Studios on Saturday October 1, at 6 and 6:45 pm. Check for these events and more on the website calendar and social media.

To get there: Cook Street is bordered between Bogart Street to the north, and Evergreen Street to the south. The Morgan Ave stop on the L train is 3.5 blocks from Cook Street. ODETTA




Installation images of Landscape As Time





My solo show at 57W57thArts is up and open for viewing on Wednesday - Saturday, noon- 5p through June 9th. (Please note: the gallery will be closed for a private event on June 4th)

Spring, Yellow Trail and Summer, Yellow Trail

Spring, Yellow Trail and Summer, Yellow Trail

72 colors found during one year on the Yellow Trail, acrylic on polyester resin film, dimensions variable, 2016   

72 colors found during one year on the Yellow Trail, acrylic on polyester resin film, dimensions variable, 2016


Fall, Yellow Trail and Winter, Yellow Trail

Fall, Yellow Trail and Winter, Yellow Trail



 and more details...

 and more details...

The artwork in this gallery is about time. The landscape was used as a time-keeping device. I captured time passing by documenting the change in color within the landscape at the same location (New Berlin, NY) over the course of a year. I think of each painting as a landscape; a pure landscape, reduced to the actual found colors.

Making the work required capturing colors from nature, over one year, and transforming them to paint.  I returned to the same trail in the forest. I visited this trail in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each time I walked the trail, I took a photo every 100 steps. 18 photos were taken on each walk. One color was selected from each photo to be mixed into a paint color. Once back in the studio, I mixed colors with the aide of a program that interprets the color I select from a photo into a paint formula. There are 72 distinct colors marking this one year of time.

Each season is represented as an individual painting and the entire year as the installation on the floor. Spring and Summer are on the left, Fall and Winter on the right, as you face the floor installation “72 colors found during one year on the Yellow Trail”

As I worked on this project I was reminded of Josef Albers' statement: "There is a profound harmony in the immeasurable spectrum of color."


Debra Ramsay