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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

November 14, 1986|COLIN GARDNER

Dan Smajo-Ramirez is a Chicago painter who bases cool serial abstractions on the theories of Cambridge philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein was interested in contradictions of logic that reduce language and thought to a series of games.

Ramirez complicates the game further by throwing in everything from Schoenberg's atonal musical scale to the spirituality of Thomist theology. A suite of music staff images in pale gray is slashed by a series of rectangular washes and geometric lines, resembling notations on a Modernist musical score. A series of paintings generically titled "Veritas/Lumen/Res" allude to spiritual transcendence. Gothic arches rendered in impastoed pigments and dislocated planar perspective conjure up ideas of infinite voids and cosmological order.

Ultimately all this philosophical diarrhea boils down to so much hermetic posturing. Ramirez's visual language is so self-contained that it seems to relate only to itself, lacking any outward-looking sense of dialogue. (Roy Boyd Gallery, 170 S. La Brea Ave., to Nov. 29.)

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