The Shirley-Jones Gallery opens the Fall 2005 season with an exhibition and installation project by Vermont-based artist Bill Ramage. The exhibition will consist of a number of large scale drawings from the past thirty years, documents of installations Mr. Ramage executed between 1982 and 1995, and a site-specific installation in the center of the gallery.
Bill Ramage studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art in the late 1960s. Upon graduation, he joined the faculty of Ohio State University to teach sculpture. He left OSU in the mid-70s and moved to Vermont ultimately joining the faculty of Castleton College where he currently teaches.
Mr. Ramage is a consummate draftsman with a keen eye and a deft ability to record on paper what his eyes see. It was in the late 1970s, while executing a series of large scale (5' x 8') drawings of his own face, that he began to explore the complexities of how it is that humans, having two eyes, process visual information. He noticed that lines (such as the division between wall and floor or ceiling and wall) while physically straight, actually appeared curved in his observations. Significantly, these observations call into question the language and conventions of central linear perspective which were first developed in the Renaissance (a time when the world was "known" to be flat).
Ramage concluded that in a world where space and surfaces are curved, the "vanishing point" is in the observer's eye. Each observer IS "the center of the perceived universe with the w orld expanding outward from his/her internally held vanishing point." With these considerations from direct observation and 20th Century theoretical discussions of expanding, curved space in mind, he coined the term "Centripetal Perspective." Over the next twenty years, He explored its ramifications through drawings and a series of increasingly complex site specific installations executed in this country and abroad.
Most recently, Ramage has executed drawings with organic and even figurative implications that seem to spring spontaneously from the world of curved space that he has been studying these past three decades. Ramage, along with a handful of other artists, is credited with offering a distinctly Twentieth Century contribution to the reconsideration of classical modes of representing space.
The exhibition runs from September 17 through October 29, 2005. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 2-6pm and by appointment. For further information call (937) 767-1711.