press release

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue
February 14–May 10, 2020

Alexandra Bircken, Sara Deraedt, Gaylen Gerber, Konrad Klapheck, Ghislaine Leung, Senga Nengudi, Ana Pellicer, Christina Ramberg, Richard Rezac, Diane Simpson, Terre Thaemlitz, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Kathleen White

“Containing, restraining, reforming, hurting, compressing, binding, transforming a lumpy shape into a clean smooth line” is how the American artist Christina Ramberg (1946–1995) once described the drawings of corsets in her sketchbooks. Ramberg was one of the most intriguing painters to emerge within a generation of Chicago Imagists. Operating under the influences of Surrealism, she painted sharply delineated, truncated torsos, bound in bizarre variations of corsets, bandages, and textures. The paintings exude an unnerving calm burdened with conflicting desires.

The core of the exhibition is a selection of Ramberg’s paintings and drawings, which dialogue with a variety of artistic approaches, shedding light on the artist’s understanding of the body as an entity embedded in its environment, molded by corsets, hairdos, and behavioral conventions. Together, these works challenge both the internalized and external structures that shape our existence; they further articulate a relationship of interdependence between norms applied to constructs, infrastructures, identity and desire.

The exhibition was conceived by co-curator Anna Gritz. It is produced by KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany, in cooperation with 49 Nord 6 Est—Frac Lorraine and BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK.

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue is made possible through the support from the Capital Cultural Fund and Terra Foundation for American Art.