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Christina Ramberg, Corset Urns & Other Inventions, 1968–1980

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Associated with the Chicago Imagist group of the late 1960s, Christina Ramberg (1946–1995) painted parts of women's bodies—bound torsos, hands, waists and hair—rendered in seductive, sleek surfaces, muted colors and solid plastic forms. Ramberg's immaculately produced paintings stand in stark contrast to the hundreds of drawings she made, compulsively exploring shape and form in every possible variation of whatever subject she chose. Corsets, girdles and bras were a particular obsession, for they not only served to shape the body to conform to an ideal, but they also symbolized the need to contain and heighten female sexuality. Including paintings and drawings made between 1968 and 1980, this volume traces her progress toward more androgynous and then increasingly nonhuman figures which hover somewhere between human and object.

Text by John Corbett. Published by Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2015.