Ron Ewert

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Installation view of MFA show: Collaboration with Josh Reames. From left to right: “Jim”, Josh Reames: “Refraction (opened up)”, “Thumbnail”, “Password” Acrylic On Canvas; Oil And Acrylic On Canvas; Acrylic On Unprimed Dropcloth; Acrylic On Canvas © Ron Ewert
Worm of Cans, 2010 Acrylic On Panel 8' X 8' © Ron Ewert
Dust Collector , 2012 Acrylic On Unprimed Dropcloth 18" X 24" © Ron Ewert
Threads, 2012 Acrylic, Ink And Enamel On Canvas 8"X11" © Ron Ewert
PIL , 2012 Acrylic, Ink And Enamel On Canvas 8"X11" © Ron Ewert
Scrimmage , 2012 Acrylic On Canvas 24"X30" © Ron Ewert
DK, 2012 Acrylic On Linen 58"X69" © Ron Ewert
Work , 2012 58"X69" © Ron Ewert
Virtual Bondage , 2011 Mixed Media And Magnets On Canvas 52"X60" © Ron Ewert
Untitled , 2012 Acrylic On Canvas 52"X60" © Ron Ewert
Melmac Grinder , 2012 Acrylic On Canvas 58"X69" © Ron Ewert
Drug Rug , 2012 Acrylic On Canvas 52"X60" © Ron Ewert
Nouveau Blade, 2012 Mixed Media And Magnets On L Inen 58"X69" © Ron Ewert
Christmas Diagram , 2010 Acrylic On Canvas And Wood Variable © Ron Ewert
Upside Down Man from Above, 2010 Acrylic, Ink, Latex And Enamel On Masonite And Plywood 6'x7' © Ron Ewert
Garage II , 2012 Mixed Media And Magnets On Canvas 58"X69" © Ron Ewert
Quick Facts
Glendale Heights, Illinois
Birth year
Lives in
Chicago, Illinois
Works in
Chicago, Illinois
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2012, MFA
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, 2004, BFA

I create paintings, installations, and assemblages that investigate non-linearity, spatial ambiguity, and dislocated semiotic associations.  It is through the play of these formal elements that I can ground and make visible my experience of an essentially fragmented contemporary existence.  In my work I often employ varying strategies of negation, both physical and conceptual, to arrive at a more unpredictable image/object.  Decollage, negative wood scraps, under-painting, unfinish, optical confusion, absurdity and impermanence are some of the ways I explore the territory of the negative within painting.  One way this manifests itself is through the final stage of removing masked areas of a painting to reveal the initial raw fabric layer, bringing the background forward, conflating layers.These strategic approaches allow for the interruption of the sequence of production in my work and point to negative space as a location for play and the affirmation of subjectivity through form.

In the creation of my work, analogous to Freud’s theory of dream symbolism, every material and formal decision embodies a rich yet cryptic cathexis of reference points.  Certain references are more transparent than others; while some are only legible to elements of my viewership, many are self-reflexive and appear absurd or nonsensical.  Across a series of works the notion of humor may seem imperative and so I will draw out subtle comparisons and illustrations of terms like Irony, Cynicism, and the Pathetic.  Some works appear extremely reduced and formal, yet an interpretation will yield a spiraling paratactical chain, much like the materials list in the description of one of my magnetic assemblages.  The use of magnets and steel to construct assemblages points to Rauschenberg and minimalism, but also to the simple if not silly illusion afforded by magnetism.  A steel chain may suggest bondage, pet ownership, and Internet “links” and still remain a readymade 2D mark in a quasi constructivist composition.


Ron Ewert was born in the suburbs of Chicago, inspired by baseball, comic books, and his father’s vinyl sign-making business.  He attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, graduating with a BFA in 2004, when he got his first computer.  Ron received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and currently is co-director of The Hills Esthetic Center, an exhibition space he founded in 2010.  This fall Ron will have work in exhibitions at Peregrine Program and Autumn Space in Chicago and Monya Rowe Gallery and Launch F18 in New York.  Ron lives and works in Chicago.

 Ron Ewert

1982 b. Glendale Heights, Illinois 

Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois 


2012  MFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago

2004  BFA, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

2002 Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland  



Did You See Heaven: WYSIWYG, Peregrine Program, Chicago IL (Upcoming)

SAIC MFA Exhibition, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL (Upcoming)

Civic & Arts Exhibition, Union League Club. Chicago, IL (Upcoming)

MONO//TON//POLY//CHROM, Freies Museum, Berlin

The Whitney Houston Biennial, Murdertown, Chicago IL


Painted, curated by Tyson Reeder, Green Gallery, Milwaukee WI

Roger's Grocery: Mess Hall, Chicago, IL

Ghost Show, American Fantasy Classics, Milwaukee, WI

Wow and Flutter: Dynamic Range in Analog Art, Johalla Projects, Chicago, IL 

Abeaiaa Sligrsr Vrgiimn, American Fantasy Classics, Milwaukee, WI  

Next invitational at Art Chicago, Chicago, IL 

The Hills Esthetic Center at MDW Fair, Chicago, IL

Small(er) Works, Manifest Exhibitions, Chicago, IL  


RePaired, curated by J. Gibran Villalobos and Katie Waddell, SAIC, Chicago, IL

There, Now It Will Last Forever, The Family Room, Chicago, IL

Tech-Noir, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, IL

Lumpy Trouser Demons Etc…, Northern Exposure, Chicago, IL

Get It Together Again, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL


Harvest, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

Money, Booze, History and The History of Booze Money, Plaines Projects, Chicago IL 


I know you are but what am I, MIAD, Milwaukee, WI 


Ironic Being, Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland 


2012  Frederick Fursman Scholarship

2011 SAIC Student Leadership Award

2010  SAIC grant  Illinois

Arts Council Grant

2009  Chicago CAAP Grant

2008  Chicago CAAP Grant

2000  MIAD Merit Scholarship

2000  Glenbard East High School “Best in Show” 


2010  Harold Arts Summer Residency Program

2009  Harold Arts Summer Residency Program   


2011 Miller Coors, Next Chicago Sculpture Commission

2010 Walgreens, “Creative Differences” Public Mural, 1372 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 

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