What Nerve! Christina Ramberg Rediscovered

Oct 17, 2014 2:39PM
"I think that it all came from when I was young. My father was in the military and I can remember sitting in my mother’s room watching her get dressed for public appearances. I got to put her hankie, lipstick, and compact mirror in one of those tiny beautiful little purses. I watched her getting dressed, and she would wear these—I guess that they are called 'merry widow[s]'—and I can remember being stunned by how it transformed her body, how it pushed up her breasts and slendered down her waist. Then she put on these fancy strapless dresses and went to parties. I think that the paintings have a lot to do with this, with watching and realizing that a lot of these undergarments totally transform a woman’s body... Watching my mother getting dressed I used to think that this is what men want women to look like, she’s transforming herself into the kind of body men want. I thought it was fascinating . . . in some ways, I thought it was awful." Christina Ramberg's 1971 Probed Cinch the and excerpted passage from Robert Cozzolino's catalogue essay on Ramberg are reproduced from What Nerve!, Dan Nadel's mind-boggling new study of alternative figures in American art from 1960 to the present.
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019