previews

  • Mel Ramos

    Galleria Civica di Modena
    Corso Canalgrande 103
    January 24–April 25, 1999

    Our planet has really shrunk when a ’60s vintage California Pop artist gets a retrospective organized not by a compatriot but by Walter Guadagnini, director of Modena’s Galleria Civica, leaving us to wonder how the Italians will greet this fan of American vulgarity (and precocious purveyor of political incorrectness). In 1999, Mel Ramos’s repertoire—Flash Gordon, Chiquita Banana, and great paintings (from David to de Kooning) transported to his native land of sunshine and bikinis—should gain a fresh audience. Feminists may line up in protest but connoisseurs of kitsch will surely bask in these prelapsarian dreams of suntanned Eves, presented with knowing smiles and paint surfaces as creamy as a Carve1 birthday cake.