Carol Rama’s expressive work is a direct result of the personal tragedies in her life. “I paint to heal myself,” she has said. Her autobiographical, explicitly female approach mirrors that of other artists of her time, such as Louise Bourgeois. Considered too radical for the fascist dominated Italy she grew up in, her work didn’t receive international attention until the end of the 90s. She received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2003, and her work is now shown in major art galleries around the world.
This exhibition precedes a large touring retrospective of Carol Rama’s work initiated by MACBA in Barcelona and co-produced with the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland and the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino (GAM). This smaller selection of work at Nottingham Contemporary, which focuses on the early watercolours, the bricolages, the tyre paintings and the most recent works on diagrams and plans, is presented in close dialogue with Danh Vo’s exhibition, and a few of Vo’s works are presented amongst Rama’s.
This summer we present the first major UK exhibition of the work of Danh Võ. Võ’s work explores the intersections of personal experience and major historical events, including the impact and mutations of Catholicism as it spread through colonisation.
“I don’t believe that things come from within you. To me things come out of the continuous dialogue you have with your surroundings,” he has said.
Danh Võ was born on the island of Phu Quoc, in South Vietnam in 1975 and eventually granted political asylum in Denmark, where he was raised. Since 2009 Võ has been collaborating with his father, Phung Võ, a skilled calligrapher, who has made new works for the exhibition.