Critic’s Guide: New York

September 27, 2016

With more than 40 works dating from the 1930s up into the 2000s, this is an exceptional presentation of the work of an underappreciated artist. Carol Rama passed away recently at the age of 97; currently, there is a travelling retrospective moving between five European venues, which will end in 2017 with a stop in her hometown of Turin. On this side of the pond, the gallery exhibition at Fergus McCaffrey is the largest presentation of Rama’s work in the US since ICA Boston played host to the Stedelijk’s retrospective in 1998. Filling two floors, the survey offers a glimpse of the artist’s extensive range: from powerful, sexualized figurative drawings from the late 1930s and ‘40s, inspired by scenes she witnessed at her mother’s psychiatric hospital, to abstract compositions made from rubber bicycle wheels in the ’70s (Rama’s father once owned a bicycle factory), and back to figurative compositions in the decade following…