Christina Ramberg: Vertical Amnesia

Friday, Mar 3 – Jul 16, 2023

227 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 53703

On view: Henry Street Gallery (Lower Level)

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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.

Image: 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. © The Estate of Christina Ramberg