September 14, 2019–January 5, 2020

Curator: Anna Gritz

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

“Containing, restraining, reforming, hurting, compressing, binding, transforming a lumpy shape into a clean smooth line,” is how 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. She left a significant body of comic, formally elegant, erotically sinister paintings. Operating under the influences of Surrealism, her cropped torsi, sharply delineated and bound in bizarre variations of corsets, bandages, and textures exude an unnerving calm burdened with a conflicted desire. Ramberg’s understanding of the body as an environment that is closely intertwined with its surrounding, shaped by corsets, hairdos as well as behavioral conventions is central to the exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art that summons an analysis of conduct based on her approach as something constructed by the structures that externally and internally determine our existence. A selection of paintings and drawings by Christina Ramberg will form the core of the exhibition, alongside of which other artistic positions such as Alexandra Bircken, Sara Deraedt, Gaylen Gerber, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Konrad Klapheck, Ghislaine Leung, Hans Christian Lotz, Senga Nengudi, Ana Pellicer, Richard Rezac, Diane Simpson, Terre Thaemlitz, Kathleen White will expand the conversation and extend the understanding of the type of framing devices that can be identified as having an impact on and condition performance, behavior, and physical expression.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a substantial publication that brings together newly commissioned writing on Ramberg by art historians and theorists, among others, Anna Gritz, Dr. Larne Abse Gogarty and Judith Russi Kirshner alongside experimental fiction texts by Jen George, and Dodie Bellamy. A large section of the publication will be dedicated to a facsimile reprint of Ramberg’s unique collection of photographic slides.

The exhibition is produced by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin in collaboration with 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine, Metz (FR) and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (GB), where it will be presented in 2020. 

Assistant Curators: Kathrin Bentele, Léon Kruijswijk

Photo Credits: Christina Ramberg, Tight Hipped, 1974, Copyright the Estate of Christina Ramberg, Courtesy Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, The Bill McClain Collection of Chicago Imagism.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art 
Auguststraße 69 
10117 Berlin

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