Power of Women Exhibition at Fabrik Gallery
FABRIK CONTEMPARY ART PRESENTS
“POWER OF WOMEN”: SELECTED WORKS BY MEL RAMOS
November 18 – December 5, 2009
“I have repeatedly heard the opinion voiced that I must hate women, [given] the way I paint them. However, contrary to what most feminists say about me, I think that all of my work sums up the fact that I really love women. When I get a compliment from a woman, to me it’s the highest honor.” – Mel Ramos
Fabrik Contemporary Art proudly presents the “POWER OF WOMEN” exhibition, featuring selected works by rebel figurative painter, Mel Ramos.
Widely viewed as one of the most significant representatives of the California Pop movement, Mel Ramos began his career as a commercial artist. He was interested in the everyday myths of his time — from comic-strip figures to the synthetic dreams proposed by the advertising world. Since 1963, Ramos has fleshed out practically every popular erotic fantasy of women: From the cartoon superheroine to the dominatrix and pin-up girl. He also turned an ironic eye to the classical female nude, painting a cyclical series of the love lives of the ancient gods and creating unique paraphrases of classical masterpieces by Ingres, Manet, Modigliani and de Kooning.
Ramos emerged on the international art scene as part of the second post-war American art movement, along with Warhol, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Wesselmann, and Rosenquist. Combining elements of realist and abstract art, his well-known series of nudes ironically comment on the picture of women projected by the mass media and consumer advertising. Some critical observers persist in classifying Ramos as a Pop Artist. Yet, his identification with the Pop movement of the 1960’s is much too narrow to account for the broader context of his paintings. His humor is not of satire or ridicule. Rather, his parodies are respectful, affectionate tributes, a celebration of images with personal meaning.
Ramos was born in 1935 in Sacramento, California. He graduated from Sacramento State College with an M.A. in 1958. From 1958-1966, he taught at various institutions, including Elk Grove High School and California State University. In 1962, he began a series of garishly colored superheroes taken from comic strips using a thick oleaginous pigment. In 1963, he was featured in the “Pop Goes the Easel” collective show at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.
The next year, he held his first solo exhibition at the Bianchini Gallery, New York. By 1965, Ramos had developed his own Pop Art iconography by combining nude pin-up girls from American magazines and advertisements with branded products. “I am for art that attacks the eyes,” Ramos said of his work, “I love sight thrills.”
Throughout the ’70s, he exhibited his works across the US, as well as overseas. In 1980, he joined California State University in Hayward. At this point, Ramos took an interest in self-portraits and landscape painting. In 1986, he won the National Endowment for the Visual Artists Fellowship Grant and participated in a United States/France Exchange Fellowship program.
Since 1992, Mel Ramos has lived and worked between California and Spain.
About Fabrik Contemporary Art
Established in 2007, Fabrik Contemporary Art was conceived by three private collectors to acquire unique pieces with a focus on contemporary modern and urban art. Fabrik is committed to being involved in putting Hong Kong at the forefront of the international arts scene by promoting exciting and new artists. Fabrik’s mandate is to showcase some of the art world’s hottest and edgy contemporary artists from Asia and the West.
Rm 412, Yip Fung Building
2-18 D’Aguilar Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852.2525.4911 / E-mail: email@example.com
Open Daily, except Mondays: 12noon–6:30pm