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Indepth Arts News:

"Christina Ramberg Drawings"
2001-10-12 until 2001-12-09
University of Richmond Museums, Marsh Gallery
Richmond, VA, USA United States of America

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 women’s status in society as well as society’s 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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