Debra Ramsay

United States 1957

Abstract Art

Debra Ramsay
Debra Ramsay
United States
March 14, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Harmony and balance, as well as rhythm and order in nature, have been a source of inspiration for artists over centuries. Debra Ramsay, an American contemporary painter, found it in the earth realm when she witnessed the changing seasons. Rather than creating pieces that would allude to underlying meanings, emotions, or narratives, she focuses on some of the basic elements of an artwork – line, form, tone, pattern and color making the nature-inspired pieces of art that recall color field paintings, especially the stripe works made by Gene Davis in the 1960s.

Debra Ramsay - Yellow Trail, Spring with Gray, 2013
Debra Ramsay – Yellow Trail, Spring with Gray, 2013

Landscape as Time Project

In the spring of 2013, Ramsay began an ambitious project entitled Landscape as Time. The project had roots in photographs shot during nature walks the artist took while on a residency in the town of New Berlin in upstate New York. Away from chaos and crowds and toward a place where she could witness the wisdom and grace of nature the artist documented the shifting colors of landscapes, fruit, leaves, and trees through the seasons of a calendar year. She photographed the chosen landscape eighteen times at intervals of one hundred paces on at least four occasions throughout the year. Back in the studio, she translated the collected colors from the photographs into the pigments she wanted via a computer application. The resulting output presents an abstraction of nature’s cycles, informed by mathematics and explored through geometry and color. Her vertical clusters and horizontal stacks show how the landscape changes from spring through winter.

Ramsay transposes a specific landscape to a new location, in an abstract form

Debra Ramsay - Color Changes In The Forest, During One Year (detail), installation for Generative Processes show in NY, 2015
Debra Ramsay – Color Changes in the Forest, During One Year (detail), installation for Generative Processes show in NY, 2015

Awards and Exhibitions

Educated at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College, and Oregon State University, Debra Ramsay has created thoughtful, meditative and abstract body of work engaged with rule-based systems and mathematics. She was awarded a fellowship at BAU Institute in Otranto, Italy in 2012, a residency at the Golden Foundation in New Berlin, NY in 2013 and a residency at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in 2016. Her work has been included in numerous collective shows in such galleries as Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, and Pocket Utopia Gallery, New York. Her debut solo show Desire Lines was held at Blank Space Art in New York in 2012. In September 2016, Ramsay will open solo exhibition at ODETTA gallery in Brooklyn.

Debra Ramsay - Summer, Yellow Trail, 2014
Debra Ramsay – Summer, Yellow Trail, 2014

Repetitive and Serial Systems in Ramsay’s Work

The parallels between geometry and art can be seen in many of Ramsay’s pieces. Using mathematics as a tool in her practice, she often creates serially related works such as paintings from Measuring Parallels series. She applies geometry and rule-based systems to the abstract interpretation of color, space, and time. The shape and the placement of color in her pieces evoke meditative and transcendent feelings of sublimity but also leave the viewers to create their own stories.

The artist is represented by IdeelArt since March 2016.

Debra Ramsay lives and works in NY.

Featured image: Debra Ramsay in her studio
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Land, Air, SpaceProjectARTspace, NY, NYGroup
201657 W57th Arts, NY, NYGroup
2016OdettaBrooklyn, NY Solo
2015Volume 2: Schema ProjectsBrooklyn, NYGroup
2015The Violent Study GroupStout Projects, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015The Shape It TakesBall & Socket Arts, Cheshire, CTGroup
2015Territory Of AbstractionPentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2015Alex Paik & Debra RamsayTiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015Material AttractionNYIT School of Architecture and Design, New York, NYGroup
2014Landscape As TimeHansel&Gretel Picture Garden, Pocket Utopia, NY, NYGroup
2014The BrucennialThe Bruce High Quality Foundation, NY, NYGroup
2014Made In PaintGolden Foundation, New Berlin, NYGroup
2014Doppler ShiftVisual Arts Center of NJ, Summit, NJGroup
2013Mat-TamPalazzo Costa, Mantova, ItalySolo
2013Session OnePocket Utopia Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2013Rituals Of Exhibition IiH Gallery, Chaing Mai, ThailandGroup
2013Doppler StopParallel Art Space, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2013Dual ZonesKey Projects Art Space, New York, NYGroup
2013Anonymous Drawings 2013Galerie Nord, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2013Real Time, Pop-Up ExhibitionNY, NY Group
2013Rituals Of ExhibitionPhayao, ThailandGroup
2012Desire LinesBlank Space Art, NY, NY Solo
2012Encaustic Works Biennial ’12The Gallery at R &F, Kingston, NYGroup
2012Making RoomInstitute Library, New Haven, CTGroup
2012Doppler StopRotterdamGroup
2012Domino 02Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2012UnknownGrimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Jackson Arts Center, Fall River, MAGroup
2012TextilityVisual Arts Center of NJ, Summit, NJGroup
2011Visual PhrasingMaloney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJGroup
2011An Exchange With Sol LewittMass MoCA, North Adams, MAGroup