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 Christina (Christina Ramberg Hanson) Ramberg  (1946 - 1995)



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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: mod female figure-surreal victims

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
Love Lines
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from two websites at the suggestion of Frances Ramberg, niece of the artist:
Paintings and Drawings
September 6 - October 13, 2001

Adam Baumgold Gallery presents an exhibition by Christina Ramberg of paintings and drawings from the late sixties to the eighties. This will be the first New York solo exhibition of Christina Ramberg in twenty years and will include approximately fifteen paintings and forty drawings, along with prints and Chicago imagist ephemera, by an artist who was "a dynamic presence and central figure in contemporary art in Chicago and in the history of feminist art". (1)

Christina Ramberg was one of a small group of influential women artists in the 1960s and 1970s including Eva Hesse, Ree Morton and Louise Bourgeois, to use overt female imagery and address issues such as gender and gender confusion, fetishism and bondage in their art. In all of Ramberg's provocative imagery "there is a concern about the implications of mass culture and vernacular representations of femininity and the body" (2) that is always executed with great formal strength within the stylistic iconographic boundaries of Chicago imagism.

Christina Ramberg's drawings, mostly untitled, undated, and small in scale, are obsessive, meticulously executed works that are musings about gender and the possibilities for her paintings and her art. These drawings are executed in hieroglyphic-like lists and rows, for example, a drawing of a woman's hands are shown in a multitude of positions being gently or tightly bound by handkerchiefs. Also, multiple views of female hairdos, seen from behind, morph into heads of lettuce while other drawings show headless, corseted bodices, in various angles and contours that seem to become vessel-like.

Included in the exhibition will be many of the seminal torso paintings such as Probed Cinch, (1971), and Wired (1974) that are "immaculate icons in which bodices cropped at the neck and knees are encased in gorgeous textures: lace, leather, metal...wrapped and ornamented, these disembodied trunks become generative and menacing hybrids, signifying female pleasure and power."(3)

Christina Ramberg's work was included in the Who Chicago? exhibition in 1980, The Figurative Tradition of American Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1980, as well as Whitney Biennials in 1972 and 1979. Christina Ramberg A Retrospective: 1968-1988 was held at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in 1988, and the traveling exhibition, Christina Ramberg Drawings, started at Gallery 400/University of Illinois at Chicago College of Architecture and the Arts in May 2000.

Christina Ramberg's work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, among others.

1 and 2: Karen Indeck, Christina Ramberg Drawings, 2000
3: Judith Russi Kirshner, Christina Ramberg Drawings, 2000
Christina Ramberg Drawings
October 12 to December 9, 2001
Marsh Art Gallery
University of Richmond Museums

This retrospective exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the sketches and drawings of American artist Christina Ramberg (1946-1995). Widely regarded as a central figure in the history of contemporary art in Chicago and in the history of feminist art on a national level, Ramberg created paintings and drawings that reveal perceptions of gender identity and objectification of the female body.

For this presentation, her drawings are accompanied by selected writings and paintings none of which have ever been chronicled, documented, exhibited, or researched until this traveling exhibition organized by Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

As an artist and educator, Ramerg was a dynamic presence in the Chicago artistic community from the 1960s until her death in 1995. Along with artists such as Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, and Roger Brown, she is considered an important contributor to the Imagist style that arose in Chicago during the 1960s.  The Imagists continued the figurative style common to artists from that city but looked to new influences such as folk art, comics, Surrealism, and advertising.

Ramberg's imagery was influenced by a wide variety of sources including printed advertisements, fashion layouts, costume history, and medical illustrations.  Her subject matter largely dealt with generic female figures and variations on themes such as decoration, clothing, and bondage.  In one series of drawings, for example, Ramberg seems to be creating a mutation from a woman with a fancy hairdo into a head of lettuce into a pair of pantaloons.  The patterns and shapes of her subjects relate visually and thematically, playing on notions of womens status in society as well as societys demands for femininity.

Ramberg was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and received both her B.F.A. and her M.F.A. at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also taught.  She has has numerous one-person exhibitions, including a retrospective organized by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in 1988.  Her work is in the collections of several major museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

"Christina Ramberg Drawings" was organized by Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago; the exhibition was coordinated by Judith Russi Kirshner, Dean, College of Architecture and the Arts; and was made possible through support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, Ruth Horwich, and other generous supporters.  At the Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the University's Cultural Affairs Committee.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 128-page illustrated catalogue with essays by Judith Russi Kirshner; poet and author Molly McQuade; and painter and author Barbara Rossi, who is also Professor of painting and sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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