Press Release

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CRG Gallery is pleased to present a series of prints by Italian artist Carol Rama. Born in 1918, Rama is the 2003 recipient of the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion (a Lifetime Achievement Award) and was included in The Encyclopedic Palace, the Biennale’s 55th exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gioni. The artist is self-trained, and her work explores the human body and its sexuality in a manner that is simultaneously expressive, child-like, and darkly suggestive. CRG’s project space will be filled with over forty works, most of which have never been exhibited in the United States.

The prints include works from the series Le malelingue (The Evil Tongues) (1997), Cadeau (Gift) (2000), Feticci (Fetishes) (2004), Seduzione (Seduction) (2004), and Lingue (Tongues) (2005). On top of the print,  the artist highlights the paper using a range of materials including nail polish, watercolor and enamel. In totality, these materials form bodies and body parts, alluding to physical intimacies that are simultaneously base and sincerely intimate. Rama’s corporeal motifs are drawn from erotic watercolors that the artist produced first from 1936-1947, exploring female and male genitalia, eyes and mouths—imagery considered blasphemous at the time of its original presentation and not explored again by the artist until 1979.

The drawings from La mucca pazza (The Mad Cow) (2001) are unique collages of abstracted cow body parts, a series motivated by the world’s infatuation with mad cow disease at the turn of the century. The works are constructed of bike tires, leather, and watercolor and ground on thick, handmade paper that the artist had impressed by engravings earlier in her career.  Rama was particularly captivated by the cows’ perceived ecstasy as they convulsed on the ground in the throes of the illness—straddling the line between life and death, insanity and freedom. In particular, she identified with the chaotic energy that the cows embodied, seeing an echo of the intense feeling she imbues her work with. The works presented at CRG call particular attention to her interest in revisiting materials, themes and past work. Rama has an innate impulse to build, rebuild, reinterpret and construct from her own kinetic artistic output and personal experience.

 

Carol Rama was born in 1918 in Turin, Italy, where she continues to live and work. She has upcoming solo exhibitions at MACBA, Barcelona (Spain), Musée de la ville de Paris (France), EMMA, Espoo (Finland), Museum der Modern, Salzburg, MdM (Austria), and the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, GAM, Torino (Italy). She is represented by Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin.

CRG Gallery is greatly appreciative of Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin for facilitating the presentation of this exhibition.