Carol Rama: Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola
Carol Rama: Carolrama Coralarma Claromara Arolcarma Coralroma Ormalacra Carmarola (2022) was the first exhibition dedicated to the artist’s research of the 1960s and ’70s. The title of the exhibition is a 1974 composition by Man Ray, printed in the catalogue of an exhibition organized by the gallerist Luciano Anselmino and framed by Rama for her home and studio in Turin. The presentation included 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 was divided into four sections, opening with a group of bricolages made in the 1960s. The bricolages emerged from Rama’s interest in Surrealism and reveal the importance that Turin played in her approach to materials, as many of the items she appropriated came from nearby factories.
In 1969, black spray paint became more prominent in Rama’s practice. She created several works identifiable 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 possibly read as her responses to the news footage from the Vietnam War and other conflict zones. In 1972, dealing more explicitly with traditions of geometric abstraction, Rama began a series called Fase del nero (Phase of Black), for which she set rubber squares 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.
The exhibition concluded with a room evoking Rama’s studio. Newly commissioned photographs reveal her studio environment, illuminating incredible collections of objects. The images presented samples of materials used in the bricolages and rubber works alongside important documents regarding her connections to artists, writers, and filmmakers.