Friday, June 24, 2011

REVIEW: William Ramage at Gallery-in-the-Field in Brandon

William Ramage’s exhibit is only up through June 30, so hurry if you want to see it! – Ed.

By Liza Myers

William Ramage's current exhibition, The Men's Group explores human perception: how we actually see the world in which we live. In an impressive, large-scale installation, Ramage challenges the rules of linear perspective that have governed artists since the 15th century. He asks us to view the world centripetally. The term refers to drawing into a visual core, into a center, rather than viewing the world linearly, along the traditional lines into a vanishing point.

The space is dominated by a monumental installation, an embracing circle featuring two immense, free-standing arcs of photographs. Simultaneous realities are juxtaposed. The images boggle your sense of reality and space, setting your equilibrium askew.

Additionally, as you walk behind the installation, the gallery walls are hung with the actual stunning, large-scale drawings featured in the photographs. The drawings are a visual feast and impressive body of work unto themselves.

To the uninformed the installation is fascinating, but initially seems odd- slices of imagery adjacent to one another confound the viewer. How can the same grouping of men be standing next to each other in adjacent locations, seemingly at the same time? Who are they, why are they gathered?

The intellectual underpinnings of Ramage's work are deep and complex. In his new book, Seeing, available at Gallery in-the-Field, Ramage quotes Blake, Huxley, Proust, Emerson and more. The philosophical breadth is vast. Within the pages of the book Ramage's artistic thought processes are clarified.

Artists who ask us to see differently challenge our sense of reality. They ask us to step beyond the status quo, beyond confining perceptual limitations. Contemporary visionaries such as Goldsworthy, Turrell, Banksey, and JR ask us to see new possibilities, thus nudging the human race farther along our path, wherever it might lead. Joining an impressive group, William Ramage's exhibition will expand your sense of what is possible.

Gallery in-the-Field is at 685 Arnold District Road (just off Route 7) in Brandon, VT. Hours are Friday - Sunday 12-5 pm and by appointment 802-247-0145