The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC in Gateshead

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC in Gateshead
Christina Ramberg, Willful Excess, 1977, Copyright the Estate of Christina Ramberg, Courtesy Sammlung / Collection of Karin Tappendorf

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 19 September 2020 — 21 February 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Though her works are held in major collections, such as at MoMA in New York and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C, the American painter Christina Ramberg (1946-1995) is one of the many great women artists that have not received the full historical recognition or international visibility they deserve. It doesn’t explicitly position its aim as such, yet BALTIC’s upcoming exhibition, The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue, will hopefully form an important part of a growing move over the last decade to redress this.

Ramberg was an important member of the Chicago art scene and remains primarily associated with the Chicago Imagists of the 1960s and 70s. The movement staunchly rejected New York art world trends and became known for its irreverent, often visceral energy, colliding art history and folk art with the urban fabric of Chicago, and referencing elements of pop culture such as comic book art, pinball machines and advertising.

At the centre of Ramberg’s elegant, erotically charged paintings and small, obsessive drawings, however, is the human body, often depicted in fragments or as a headless torso bound by corsets, hair, bras or cloth. In her sketchbook, she described her drawings of corsets as ‘Containing, restraining, reforming, hurting, compressing, binding, transforming a lumpy shade into a clean smooth line’ – a description that speaks to the questions of power dynamics, hierarchies, gender construction, desire, fetishism, and increasing societal pressure towards standardisation, that she explored throughout her career.

The Making of Husbands is far from a standard artist retrospective, however, presenting Ramberg’s output in dialogue with works by 13 other artists – her contemporaries and members of younger generations that she influenced – grouped by their shared interest in gender and identity. As such, the exhibition gains an even more timely feel, directly engaging with debates that dominate our present, whilst also providing a valuable opportunity to see Ramberg’s work up close.

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue was initially presented at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (where it received the 2019 Special Exhibition Award from AICA Germany) and also includes a new commission by painter Frieda Toranzo Jaeger.

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 19 September 2020 — 21 February 2021 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC in Gateshead

Trakol
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Trakol

On the Gateshead quayside, underneath the Tyne bridge is one of the best locations to go for a meal in Newcastle and Gateshead. In what was once derelict land on the quayside, now exists a fantastic shipping container village of purposely rusted shipping containers.

Shipley Art Gallery
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Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery can be found on Prince Consort Road (named after Queen Victoria’s Husband – Prince Albert) and was created in 1917 after Joseph Shipley, a local solicitor, bestowed his collection of 504 paintings to create a gallery for local people.

CBK Adventures
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CBK Adventures

CBK Adventures deliver award-winning coastal activities including guided tours and lessons in kayaking and paddle boarding.

Quayside
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Quayside

The Quayside of Newcastle (and its sister town of Gateshead) is a hugely popular location in the city, featuring seven bridges spanning the impressive river, linking Newcastle to Gateshead and providing scope for many walks and tourist attraction.

Live Theatre
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Live Theatre

The Live Theatre has a fantastic reputation for developing, writing and producing new plays and shows every year. The Live Theatre started in 1973. It was at first a traveling theatre company, which started by telling stories that were relatable to daily life in the North East of England and presented these plays to local people – which it has continued to do to this day.

The Side Gallery
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The Side Gallery

The Side Gallery can be found on a small medieval street down by Newcastle’s Quayside. The Gallery itself is inside of an old warehouse, which by itself is a fantastic building to explore. Once you have entered the gallery, you are walking into one of the most important collections of film and photography in the British Isles.

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Newcastle Castle

Discover the castle that gave Newcastle its name, taking in a 12th-century fortress that has been added to over the centuries.

Boiler Shop
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Boiler Shop

A Grade II* Listed former locomotive works from the 1820’s, now and events space hosting some of Newcastle’s most exciting event; from live performances, club nights and exhibitions, to food and drink festivals.

The Literary and Philosophical Society
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The Literary and Philosophical Society

A stone’s throw from Newcastle’s Central Station, and around the corner from Newcastle’s Castle, is The Lit and Phil. Only a few years younger than Manchester’s, The Lit and Phil is the second oldest literary and philosophical society in the United Kingdom.

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Saltwell Park

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