Ramón Shiva; anti-institutional Spanish artist in Chicago

Ramón Shiva (born in Santander, Spain, 1892) was one of the anti-institutional artists who settled in Chicago during the first decades of the 20th Century. Like other progressive and modernist artists, he organized the Salon des Refusés in 1919 with Rudolph Weisenborn and Raymond Jonson, and co-founded the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists in 1922. He used to say that he lived in France, Italy, Austria, Turkey, the West Indies, Greece or Panama before settling in Chicago in about 1912. He described himself as a rebel. He never graduated from any art school. In fact, he used to say: “I do not believe in art museums, and I certainly don’t believe in art schools, though I have studied in them… Teach art? How silly! Art does not come from without, but from within, from the inside of the artist”. Taken from The Old Guard and the Avant-Garde: Modernism in Chicago, 1910-1940. Painting by Ramon Shiva. MCMXXIV (Chicago Sky), 1924, Chicago.

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