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Christina Ramberg: Vertical Amnesia

March 4, 2023 – July 16, 2023

Acrylic painting resembling the torso of possibly a woman, rendered in geometric or abstract fashion. Her forearms are cut off and she has a single thigh. Vertical and horizontal strokes are visible. The figure has a broad chest and shoulder.
Christina Ramberg, Vertical Amnesia, 1980. Acrylic on Masonite, 49 1/4 x 37 1/4 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Museum Purchase, through funds from George and Sally Johnson and the Rudolph and Louise Langer Fund.

Overview

Taking its title from one of the artist’s signature works in MMoCA’s collection, Vertical Amnesia will center this often overlooked and at times forgotten artist within the Chicago Imagist group. Gaining visibility in this contemporary moment, Christina Ramberg utilized a dizzying amalgam of “found” visual materials—a singular cartoon cel, sewing patterns, fabric grains and textures, girdles and cinchers, wisps of hair and fur—to create works that center on the forgotten, concealed, or overlooked. Even her preferred substrate of Masonite allowed Ramberg to render her brushstrokes nearly invisible. Providing a unique perspective on the world of women and their clothing, her delicate works have garnered great attention in recent years for opening a gateway to discussing femininity, femme, and the gaze. Often read as fetishistic representations, the artist described her work as stemming from her own interest in clothing and how it can be used to talk about the female body.

The exhibition will be on view in the Henry Street Gallery.

Exhibition Support

Exhibitions in the Henry Street Gallery are generously funded through an endowment established by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.