ParisCarolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola
LGDR Paris presents Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola, the first exhibition dedicated to Carol Rama’s research of the 1960s and ‘70s.
The title of the exhibition is a 1974 composition by Man Ray, printed in the catalogue of a show organized by gallerist Luciano Anselmino and framed by Rama for her home and studio in Turin. This presentation follows the 2015 solo show La passion selon Carol Rama curated by Anne Dressen at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Narrowing the focus of that last momentous survey, LGDR’s exhibition unwraps two important decades of the artist’s research. Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola includes historic work never previously exhibited as well as material on loan from the artist’s extraordinary home and studio in Turin, including samples of elements used in the works on view and personal records illuminating her artistic and social milieu. The exhibition is divided into four sections. It opens with a group of bricolages made in the 1960s. For these works, Rama covered canvases, boards, and sheets of paper with paint. She then embedded objects in them ranging from syringes, wire, and metal shavings to doll eyes and animal claws. The bricolages emerged from her interest in Surrealism, and also reveal the importance that Turin played in her approach to materials, as many of the items that she appropriated came from nearby factories.
In 1969, black spray paint became more prominent in Rama’s practice. She made a number of works that can be seen as abstracted, stretched out, and possibly destroyed bodies. Rama was conscious of the memories of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the ongoing events of the Cold War. The sprayed works might be read as her responses to the news footage from the Vietnam War and other conflict zones.
During the following decade, again drawing in materials readily available from northern Italian factories like Pirelli, Rama turned to rubber and inner tubes in various series. At first, she flattened sheets of rubber in compositions that sometimes continue her interest in abstracted body parts. The works increased in scale as she stretched out the rubber in huge curves against black or white grounds. In 1972, dealing more explicitly with traditions of geometric abstraction, she began a series called Fase del nero for which she set squares of rubber in different hues in monochrome fields. Some years later, Rama incorporated metal hangers into her art, draping inner tubes from them so that they hang limp in front of the planes. During that time she became close to Man Ray, who spent extended periods in Italy, and later socialized with foreign artists like Andy Warhol and Meret Oppenheim, who left a strong impression on Rama.
Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola concludes with a room evoking Rama’s studio. Newly commissioned photographs show the environment in which exhibited works were made, bringing to light Rama’s incredible collections of objects. Samples of materials that she used in the Bricolages and rubber works are presented alongside important documents revealing her connections to artists, writers, and filmmakers.
Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola is curated by Mark Godfrey, an independent art historian and curator based in London. LGDR extends special thanks to Valentina Castellani for tirelessly supporting the gallery’s commitment to Carol Rama. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring a commissioned text by Portuguese contemporary artist Leonor Antunes as well as a conversation between Godfrey; Jo Applin, Professor in the History of Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London; and Maria Cristina Mundici, Scientific Director of Archivio Carol Rama, Turin. This exhibition at LGDR Paris anticipates Rama’s presence at the 59th Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani and opening in April 2022.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)