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"O.H.D." (1976) is reproduced from Christina Ramberg: Corset Urns & Other Inventions, distributed for Corbett vs. Dempsey/David Nolan Gallery by ARTBOOK | D.A.P.

Christina Ramberg: Corset Urns & Other Inventions

"Proportion. Scale. Form. Palette. Surface. It is tempting to see the work of Christina Ramberg in formal terms, almost as if she were an abstract painter," John Corbett writes in the Introduction to Corset Urns & Other Inventions. "This is the case in no small part because of her inventiveness, the distance she was able to push an image in one of her delicate but forceful works, and the elasticity and pure plastic creativity of her paintings and drawings. She was expert at transforming rather everyday material into something unforeseen and wondrous. With this in mind, Ramberg could justifiably be considered a formalist. She held a special place in herself for the investigation of shape and volume; the subtle interplay of close tones in a given palette; the vibratory potential of contrasting patterns; the use of theme and variation in the deep exploration of form; and, perhaps paramount, the refinement of a painting’s surface.
Fetish. Kink. Fabric. Hair. Skin. The other side of Ramberg’s work emerges from her choice of topic and the way she mined it. For much of her tragically truncated career, which spanned less than 25 years (from 1967 to the late 1980s), she painted images of women’s bodies, hairdos, and underwear. With a curious rather than jaundiced eye, she considered the history of form in ladies’ fashion and hair dressing, studying anything and everything from canonical paintings to commercial shops. She arrived at a peculiar, highly personal vision of bondage and lingerie, imbued with a critical stance but unwilling to mount the soapbox. Indeed, one of the most engaging and complex aspects of her work is its ambivalent position on the potential erotic content of the images. Hers are feminist paintings in spirit, made at the same time that Hannah Weiner and Carolee Schneemann were creating their signal works. Ramberg’s works are not straightforward eroticism. However neither are Ramberg’s images simple indictments of patriarchal domination, despite an explicit thorniness to some of the works. The paintings and drawings occupy an uncomfortable space between these worlds—not political diatribes, not sensual come-ons, but some strange admixture of subversive and sexy, in varying proportions."

Christina Ramberg: Corset Urns & Other Inventions

Christina Ramberg: Corset Urns & Other Inventions

Corbett vs. Dempsey/David Nolan Gallery
Pbk, 7 x 9 in. / 100 pgs / 71 color.

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