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PRINT February 2018

HOW WOULD A COMB THAT CANNOT UNTANGLE HAIR LOOK?: THE ART OF CHRISTINA RAMBERG

Selection of Christina Ramberg’s comic-book clippings, 1972.

HAIR, URNS, AND THE BODY as sexualized object were where Christina Ramberg (1946–1995) began, and they are still what she is best known for. After nearly two decades of making paintings and drawings depicting heads, hands, and torsos, she rigorously pursued quiltmaking, and then created a final group of architectonic abstract paintings a decade before her life was cut short by a debilitating neurodegenerative disease. Throughout, her work is characterized by a fierce attention to structural integrity and an unflinching exploration of the female body, first as a subject of fetishistic fascination and later as a more or less foregrounded armature for audacious experiments in texture, pattern, and imagemaking.

Christina Ramberg, Double Hesitation, 1977, acrylic on Masonite, 49 1/2 × 35 1/2". © Estate of Christina Ramberg.

Ramberg lived and worked in Chicago for most of her life, and for nearly fifty years she has typically been shown together with that group of friends and peers often

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