50 Years of Superheroes, Nudes, and Other Pop Delights exhibit
Internationally acclaimed artist Mel Ramos’ art will be on exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum from June 2-Oct. 21, 2012.
Ramos’ “50 Years of Superheroes, Nudes, and Other Pop Delights” brings 70 paintings, drawings and sculptures from Ramos’ 50-year career to the Crocker.
Ramos is a Sacramento native whose exhibits have graced the walls of international museums. His most recent exhibition was held at the world-famous Albertina in Vienna, Austria.
The Crocker Art exhibit is the first such showing of Ramos’ work in an American museum in 35 years.
The exhibit features Abstract Expressionist paintings, several sculptures and landscape paintings.
Several of his paintings depict superheroes from the 1960s and also feature many of his commercially inspired nudes that the artist is best known for.
Comic book enthusiasts will instantly recognize his superhero collection, which showcases Ramos’ early work.
Ramos is known for his Pop Art work of the 1960s. The Sacramento artists produced art that celebrates aspects of pop culture, along the likes of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist.
Much of Ramos’ work also celebrates his California background and features typical sun-tanned California beauties. For example, “Monterey-Jackie” features a blonde nude model atop Monterey cheese. “Miss Navel Orange” was inspired by a Miss Orange County event Ramos witnessed at a California fair event.
Most of the other paintings depict commercialism, as his models pose next to popular products such as Coca Cola, Snickers, Lipton Ice Tea, Chiquita bananas, Ritz crackers and many other products.
Scott A. Shields, chief curator, gave a media tour of the Ramos exhibit. Shields explained that the Crocker was happy to have secured the exhibit, saying, “We’ve wanted to do this for a very long time. Although he’s done single piece showings, the first one in 1957, he has never had a one-person show in his hometown. He just had a one-person show at the Albertina in Vienna, which is one of the world’s best art museums, and we figured we better get on this bandwagon if he’s doing exhibitions in the world’s best museums and he hasn’t done one here.”
The nudes depicted in his work might have been provocative at the time they were created, but in today’s world they may not be as controversial.
The Ramos gallery exhibit is very colorful and is an excellent example of the Crocker Museum’s goal of providing a variety of exhibitions.
Lial A. Jones, CEO, Mort and Marcy Friedman Director, commented on the Ramos exhibit and the popularity of other Sacramento artists. Jones noted that since a 1957 Sacramento Ramos showing, “Ramos has, since that time, with other artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, really brought great renown to Sacramento as a place for great artists.”
In looking to achieve a greater diversity in its exhibitions Jones indicated that the new exhibit fits their goal. In trying to diversify, Jones said, “I think this show does that. It puts Pop Art in a context. It puts art collection in context, which helps us understand what was happening throughout the continuum of our history. It is also a great catalyst for exhibition interaction, whether that is in conversations or other exchanges of ideas about art, women and commercialism.”
A catalog featuring Ramos’ work is also available at the museum store, showing many more works of art.
The actual gallery contains a very colorful display of Ramos’ work. Crocker staff created a wonderful gallery exhibit and background to showcase the diversity of not only the artist, but also the types of exhibits the museum is branching out to do.
The much-deserved Ramos exhibit at the Crocker showcases some of the best Sacramento has to offer to the world.
The Crocker Art Museum has many great exhibits planned throughout the year. The museum continues to bring art from around the world to Sacramento. Exhibits at the Crocker also showcase local talent that inspires the art world.
Log on to the Crocker Art Museum’s website to view future exhibits and community events.