On the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Carol Rama Galleria Il Ponte presents a large exhibition dedicated to the artist (1918-2015) whose unconventional and independent work from any academic teaching emerges in the artistic-cultural context of Turin in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century, and then cross the entire century up to first years of the new millennium, with the same passion and vitality of its beginnings.
With a selection of about 36 works created by 1942 at 1997, the exhibition traces the incessant experimentation of techniques, materials and iconographic subjects of Carol Rama through the salient moments of his artistic and life journey.
From the early drawings and etchings on paper from the Forties, linked to Surrealism, Dubuffet and art brut, which already show great technical maturity and design, the exhibition includes some rare works from the Fifties that attest to the abstractionist experience of Carol Rama within the Turin group of the MAC-Movement of Concrete Art.
The works of the sixties document the decisive turning point of its modus operandi: on patches of color of informal ancestry, objects of use are applied such as medical instruments, metal shavings, doll's eyes that become themselves shape and color.
A large group of works on display dates back to the seventies when the two extrapolorous materials for which Carol Rama is best known, become part of his compositions: air chambers and rubber seals, used instead of color and applied on canvas or there hanged with a metal hook.
Concluding the exhibition important specimens made during the eighties and nineties that are emblematic of a voluntary and felt return to figuration. Bodies, dentures, tongues, genital organs, shoes inhabited by phalluses, figures and fantastic animals, outlined on pre-printed cards - often technical drawings of architects and engineers used as support - express the perennial desire of Carol Rama to merge art, life and imagination , confirming what she revealed in the 1985 to Lea Vergine: "I have always loved objects and situations that were rejected" because "creating the scandal around me was almost a must then".
The exhibition is accompanied by a portfolio with texts and images, with a critical essay by Bruno Corà and an in-depth analysis of the works on display by Ilaria Bernardi.
Olga Carolina Rama, called Carol Rama, was born in Turin in the 1918. He started painting again as a teenager without having any academic training, but stimulated by the attendance of important protagonists of the Turin, Italian and international cultural milieu, including Felice Casorati, Edoardo Sanguineti, Massimo Mila, Albino Galvano, Carlo Mollino, Paolo Fossati, Carlo Monzino , Luciano Berio, Eugenio Montale, Andy Warhol, Man Ray.
Following painful family incidents, including the mother's psychiatric treatment and the probable suicide of his father, his art becomes a way to exorcise suffering and inner fears.
It initially came to the visionary nature of surrealism, then to Dubuffet and art brut, and later to join the abstract research of the MAC-Movimento d'Arte Concreta in the early Fifties and the poetics of the object trouvé in the 1960s and 1970s, until cycles of more recent works (his last work dates back to 2007) develops a completely personal and autonomous path, adopting different materials, themes and styles capable of giving voice to his dream universe characterized by a provocative iconography, suspended between transgression, eccentricity, autobiography and explicit eroticism.
His first personal exhibition dates back to 1945 at the Galleria Faber in Turin (legend has it that it was closed by the police for obscenity), followed by many other exhibitions in private galleries in Turin, first of all the La Bussola Gallery (1957, 1959, 1960 , 1971), Italian (including: Galleria Luciano Anselmino, Milan 1976, Galleria Dell'Oca, Rome 1987, Galleria Sprovieri, Rome 1994-95) and abroad (including: Lutrin Gallery, Lyon 1966, It Gallery, New York 1997; Galérie Anne de Villepoix, Paris 2002, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin 2009, 2012).
After having participated in the traveling exhibition on the great artists of the twentieth century, the other half. avant-garde, curated by Lea Vergine, exposing some watercolors of the late thirties presented for the first time in the 1979 at the Galleria Martano in Turin, in the 1985 obtains its first large anthological exhibition in public space at the Sagrato del Duomo in Milan, set up by Achille Castiglioni and edited by the same Lea Vergine. This exhibition, together with the personal room at the 45a Biennale di Venezia in 1993 curated by Achille Bonito Oliva set up by Corrado Levi, and the anthology at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1998 (then at the ICA in Boston) curated by Maria Cristina Mundici , international knowledge begins.
The great public recognition comes with the awarding of the Golden Lion for Career in the 2003, on the occasion of the 50a Biennale di Venezia, with the prestigious President of the Republic award given in the 2010 by Giorgio Napolitano, and with important anthological and retrospective exhibitions, among the in the 2004 the wide anthological exhibition by Guido Curto at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (later at the Mart in Rovereto and at the Baltic Museum in Gateshead), in the 2008 the anthology at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa curated by Marco Vallora, and more recently the traveling exhibition "The Passion According to Carol Rama" (2015-16) presented at the Museu d'Art Contemporani in Barcelona, at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, at the Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and at the Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin.
The international consensus is then consolidated in 2017 thanks to the important exhibition dedicated to her held at the New Museum in New York, curated by Helga Christoffersen and Massimiliano Gioni, realized two years after her death the 24 September 2015, at 97 years, in the Turin studio-house in via Napione.
Galleria Il Ponte via di Mezzo, 42 / b - 50121 Florence