• Carol Rama. Senza titolo, 1967. Ink, glue, and doll eyes, on paper mounted on cardboard, 13 3/4 x 18 3/8 inches (35 x 46.7 cm). © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging.

Carol Rama: Eye of EyesExhibition

Carol Rama: Eye of Eyes

Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Carol Rama: Eye of Eyes. Defiantly deviant, Rama’s art is animated by raw, maverick energy. Alternately described as “sensurrealism,” “organic abstraction,” and “porn brut,” it moves between inspiration and madness, exulting in states of abjection and obsession. Inextricable from her womanhood, Rama’s oeuvre stands out in a male-dominated art world for its frank exploration of feminine and queer desires. Although counting such artists and writers as Felice Casorati, Pablo Picasso, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Calvino, and Carlo Mollino as friends, she maintained a resolute autonomy, surpassing available critical vocabularies that sought to contain her idiosyncratic vision. As philosopher Paul Preciado sums, Rama’s art is untimely.

“The work of Carol Rama is a phantom limb whose sensations return in order to reclaim another history. … She returns to undo the dominant narratives, reclaiming other discourses and another time,” he explains. By turns perverse and subversive, her work stands ahead of its moment, anticipating present-day debates on the aesthetic intersections of sexuality, representation, and power.

Resolutely autonomous for the entirety of her life, Rama never married nor lived with any romantic partners. Likewise, she refused to be relegated to the position of muse or disciple of the established male artists with whom she was often seen and photographed. The artist firmly resisted any alignment with the established and male-dominated art historical canon, using her lack of formal training to remove herself from any patriarchal lineage: “I don’t have any masters,” she stated, “the sense of sin is my master.”

Curated by Flavia Frigeri and presented in collaboration with Valentina Castellani, the exhibition will feature a cross-section of works spanning the late 1930s through to the 1990s. The works on view will include a selection of the artist’s important Bricolage works, a variety of mixed media paintings, as well as early watercolors.

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Selected Works

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  • Carol Rama.
    Presagi di Birnam,
    1994.
    Rubber tires and iron hook on canvas with sheet metal,
    53 1/8 x 23 5/8 inches (135 x 60 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Senza titolo,
    1967.
    Ink, glue, and doll eyes, on paper mounted on cardboard,
    13 3/4 x 18 3/8 inches (35 x 46.7 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Bricolage,
    1966.
    Mixed media on canvas,
    35 7/16 x 27 1/2 inches (90 x 70 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Bricolage,
    1964.
    Oil, lacquer, beads, and metal shavings on Masonite,
    27 3/8 x 20 ¼ inches (69.5 x 51.5 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Arsenale,
    1971.
    Rubber tire on canvas,
    31 ½ x 39 ½ inches (80 x 100 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Perdonami le congiunzioni,
    1969.
    Enamel, varnish, vinyl glue, and taxidermal eye,
    43 5/16 x 43 5/16 (110 x 110 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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  • Carol Rama.
    Definizione d'usura,
    1977.
    Tires, paper, and gouache on canvas,
    21 5/8 x 29 1/2 inches (55 x 75 cm).
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.
    Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

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