“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, Rachal Bradley, Sara Deraedt, Gaylen Gerber, Konrad Klapheck, Ghislaine Leung, Hans Christian Lotz, Senga Nengudi, Ana Pellicer, Richard Rezac, Diane Simpson, Terre Thaemlitz, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, and 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.