A Retrospective: 1968-1988

Christina Ramberg, 1988

Out of print

1988, 32 pp., 12 color, 11 b/w illus., paperback


“For me the word Flesh means above all apprehension, hair standing on end, flesh laid bare with all the intellectual profundity of this spectacle of pure flesh and all its consequences for the senses, that is, for the sentiments.” —Antonin Artaud

For twenty years, Christina Ramberg has sustained an investigation of the human condition via the body, as it is made opaque and inscrutable by the apparel and adornment in which it is dressed. Shrunk, frayed, patched, torn, wrinkled—Ramberg pushes the problem of the garment well beyond metaphor. Her paintings are among the most personal work to emerge out of Chicago’s Imagist group. In her late abstractions, attire falls away completely, revealing a raw spiritual mechanism that is decidedly impure.

In their catalogue essays, Dennis Adrian and Carol Becker each trace the course of Ramberg’s continuous meditations on the body through her art—Adrian on the paintings’ formal and symbolic significance, and Becker on their psychological explorations of female embodiment and subjectivity.