Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"Mel Ramos focused to an even greater extent than Warhol and Lichtenstein on a single topic: the female nude, posed against a neutral background, a persiflage of the sales law 'sex sells.' Mel Ramos eroticises product presentation and its seductive promises and clichés, however without slipping into caricature or an offensive criticism of consumer aesthetics." Klaus Schröder, excerpted from the text to Mel Ramos: 100+ Drawings.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Belinda Grace Gardner.
American painter Mel Ramos (1935–2018) cemented himself as a key figure in Pop art at a momentous 1963 group exhibition at LACMA that presented his work alongside that of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He then established a signature style for himself by appropriating and recontextualizing the sexually provocative imagery found in magazine ads of that time. Ramos’s most famous paintings feature voluptuous female nudes positioned on top of various consumer goods, including corn stalks, Chiquita bananas, candy wrappers and martini glasses. This new catalog presents approximately 70 works on paper spanning his entire career, including never-before-published preliminary sketches and finished oil paintings, rendered in a classic Pop color palette of bright pinks, yellows, blues and greens. The works presented vividly convey the artist’s meticulous eye for composition.
Published by Verlag für moderne Kunst. Preface by Ernst Hilger. Text by Claire Breukel, Jeanette Zwingenberger.
Richly illustrated in color, Mel Ramos: The Definitive Catalogue Raisonné of Original Prints includes two essays by art historians and curators Claire Breukel and Jeanette Zwingenberger, who analyze Ramos’ lifelong artistic engagement with the female nude.
From a very early stage in his artistic career, Mel Ramos (1935–2018) explored printed editions as part of his oeuvre. The earliest of these were still in an abstract expressionist idiom, but the artist began engaging with the medium in earnest in the mid-1960s, as the pop style for which he is famed took shape. Pop art’s inspiration in consumer goods and mass media naturally led to experiments with commercial printing methods such as silk-screening, and Ramos was one of its foremost practitioners.
This catalog is an invaluable resource for researchers, collectors and aficionados alike.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Belinda Grace Gardner.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Mel Ramos (born 1935) devoted himself to the central theme of his oeuvre, developing the visual vocabulary that has become so characteristic of his work: naked women adorning oversized advertisement images. Mixing idealized women with the imagery of pop culture––Chiquita bananas, coke bottles and comic books––his colorful, two-dimensional oil paintings act as formulations of an erotic fantasy that represents a fundamental pattern of marketing strategies in advertising. Humorous and provocative, Ramos’ works blend sex and materialism, emulating the glossy flatness of a pin-up magazine.
At over 300 pages, and with over 500 color illustrations, Mel Ramos captures the artist’s entire painterly oeuvre, from his first works in the ‘50s until today, demonstrating his enduring position in the West Coast Pop movement.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Konstantin Jacoby.
In the early 1960s, Mel Ramos (born 1935), one of the first artists to embrace Pop art, abandoned Abstract Expressionism and began to produce the work for which he is best known: glossy, flat paintings of idealized, voluptuous female nudes emerging from banana peels, lounging on top of cigars or caressing bottles of ketchup. Taking advertising’s enduring maxim "sex sells" to its most extreme ends, Ramos poses the nude female figure in erotic, occasionally even vulgar, positions on top of the most banal consumer goods. Beauty queens, martini glasses, nude Hollywood starlets and hamburgers are given equal attention in Ramos’ artistic universe; if Ramos has been criticized for commodifying the female form it must also be acknowledged that he eroticizes the commodity. Mel Ramos: Superman at the Supermarket is a homage to Ramos, published in celebration of his 80th birthday.
Published by Verlag für moderne Kunst. Edited with text by Anke Wiedmann. Text by Ernst Hilger.
Exceptional Editions compiles all of the special editions produced by the great American Pop artist Mel Ramos (born 1935), including sculptures, works on enamel, backlit frames and bas-relief works, as well as all of the prints published since 2013 (thus updating the previous volume Mel Ramos: New Prints). Like his fellow painters Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Ramos adopts motifs from mass media and advertising. In the early 1960s he attracted attention with painted appropriations of comic book heroes such as Batman and Superman. In the mid-60s, he began to incorporate pin-ups into his paintings, which he juxtaposed comically and revealingly with American consumer products.
Published by Moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Text by Claire Breukel, Jeanette Zwingenberger.
Mel Ramos (born 1935) rose to prominence as an important exponent of Pop art after exhibiting in shows alongside Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol in the early 1960s. Juxtaposing glamorous bodies with the seductive but hollow artifacts of American consumerism, Ramos is perhaps best known for his distinctive female nudes--stylish pin-up girls bedded on fruit or posing lasciviously with, or popping out of, larger-than-life consumer goods such as candy bars and soft drinks. Throughout his career, Ramos has explored these motifs in prints as much as in paintings. Mel Ramos: New Prints surveys a range of Ramos’ print work, starting from his figurative departure from Abstract Expressionism to his portraits of comic book heroes such as Wonder Woman and his satirical nudes lampooning brand advertising.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy, Hans Werner Schmidt. Text by Belinda Grace-Gardner, Frank Günther, Richard Hüttel, Jan Nicolaisen.
Beauty and the Beast offers a provocative juxtaposition of California-based Pop artist Mel Ramos (born 1935) and German graphic artist Richard Müller (1874–1954). Ramos famously juxtaposes immaculate, self-assured women with consumer goods, while Müller portrays unreserved, naturalistic nudes.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Klaus Schröder.
A leading figure in the West Coast Pop movement, American artist Mel Ramos (born 1935) blends sex and materialism in an openly raunchy iconography of liberated allure, everyday myths and the synthetic dreams of the advertising world. He first gained notoriety in the 1960s for his “commercial pin-ups,” voluptuous nude women draped over brand-name commercial products such as processed cheese, toothpaste, candy bars, soda pop and cigarettes. He continues to expand on this series today, now working in sculpture and tapestry in addition to painting and printmaking, variously incorporating the faces of famous actresses as a reflection of our celebrity-obsessed culture. This catalogue is the first to focus exclusively on Ramos's drawings. It includes sketches and drawings from the 1960s to the present day.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Otto Letze, Klaus Honnef, Daniel J. Schreiber.
Like his fellow Pop painters Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos (born 1935) derives the motifs for his work from mass media and advertising. In bold and immediately recognizable canvases, he unites consumer goods with idealized pin-up girls modeled after magazine images dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Ramos immortalizes these models' lascivious poses by entwining them with the featured products in what he calls “commercial pin-ups.” This monograph illustrates and discusses many of these works, but also provides insight into the artist's multifaceted oeuvre by presenting more than 100 works, from his first portraits of people, comic heroes and heroines, and his prominent pin-up girls, to his latest works from the Galatea series. Celebrating the artist's 75th birthday, this catalogue accompanies a major European retrospective, the first to unite Ramos' drawings, paintings and sculptures.
Published by Kerber. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Belinda Grace Gardner, Mel Ramos.
The title of this pocket-sized monograph says it all. Whether painting a gorgeous Monica Vitti-esque bombshell leaning on a Del Monte ketchup bottle in 1971, a Matisse-inspired redhead reclining on an abstracted chair or an Uma-Thurmanish blonde laying on a giant pack of 5 Flavor Life Savers, the rebel figurative painter Mel Ramos is widely viewed as one of the most significant representatives of the California Pop movement. Like his colleagues in the New York Pop scene, he began his career as a commercial artist and was interested in the everyday myths of his time, from comic-strip figures to the synthetic dreams proposed by the advertising world. Since 1963, Ramos has fleshed out just about every popular erotic fantasy of women, from the cartoon superheroine to the dominatrix to the pinup girl. He has also turned an ironic eye to the classical female nude, painting cyclical series of the love lives of the ancient gods and painterly paraphrases of classical masterpieces by Ingres, Manet, Modigliani and de Kooning. With an interview of the artist by Belinda Grace Gardner.
Published by Kerber. Artwork by Mel Ramos. Edited by Thomas Levy. Text by Belinda Grace Gardner.
Eroticism, women, sex, women, fetishism, women and obsession--of all the pop artists, it is perhaps Mel Ramos who has dealt most intensively and consistently with these enjoyable subjects. Always bright, always provocative, and always entertaining, his appropriations of some of the most vulgar yet familiar imagery to come out of the 1960s and 1970s advertising world never fail to make the viewer blush with shame and almost simultaneously question such a moralistic reaction. If at first sight his paintings and graphic works are mistaken for typical, if raunchy, product placements, the absurdity of a naked girlie riding a giant cigar soon becomes apparent, as does the subtle surrealism of another naked pinup girl holding a giant spark plug in front of a corporate emblem. Sex and consumer culture never looked so good together, or so parodic.