Galerie Gmurzynska is thrilled to premiere a career-spanning solo exhibition of the iconic pop artist Mel Ramos, entitled “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last: Mel Ramos, the Gmurzynska selection“. Following two successful prior shows, the gallery is proud to continue its collaboration with the Ramos estate and present a curated selection of the artist’s most significant works in both sculpture and painting.

The exhibition will take place across both of Galerie Gmurzynska’s Zurich gallery spaces and will delve into how Ramos established himself as one of the most prominent pop artists of his time, based in Sacramento, California. Known for his meticulous painterly technique and his generosity as a teacher, Ramos limited his output to just a few paintings a year. Hence, the inclusion of four paintings, including the historic “Man of Steel” from 1962, makes this exhibition a standout. Alongside these paintings, eleven sculptures, including the iconic “Chiquita Banana”, as well as Ramos’ celebrated multiples, round out the rest of the exhibition.

Ramos’ focus on placing the female nude as the central figure in many of his works playfully parodies the male use of the female body in 20th-century advertising tropes and art history. Critics and fellow artists, including his mentor Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein, and Tom Wesselmann, praised Ramos as a trailblazer who pushed the envelope of Pop art to its maximum potential.

Ramos continued to influence generations of contemporary artists as a professor and tireless educator. Today, his work is held in numerous collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna.

To accompany the exhibition, a fully illustrated catalog will be released, featuring an essay from the renowned Pop art scholar Marco Livingstone and an interview with actor George Hamilton.

In the words of Mel Ramos himself, “The whole point of my art is that art grows out of art. That is central, no matter whether it is high art, low art, popular, or what. Comic books, girlie magazines, magazine ads, billboards are all art to me.” And, as his mentor Wayne Thiebaud boldly stated, “I am going to make a very bold statement and say that Mel is a much more important and interesting and greater painter than Andy Warhol.

All images courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska
the Gmurzynska selection
Paradeplatz 2 & Talstrasse 37 | 8001 Zurich
March 30 – May 31, 2023