(1935 - 2018, California, United States)
Mel Ramos is an American Pop artist best known for his female nudes painted alongside brand logos. The artist’s coupling of women with familiar products like martini glasses and bananas serves as a commentary on the ways in which capitalism has employed the female body.
“I make sure that my pictures are not too erotic and that they always have a trace of humor,” he said of his work. “I make sure they are ‘in good taste.’ Either you understand it or not.”
Born on July 24, 1935 in Sacramento, CA, Ramos like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, found inspiration through the comic books Wonder Woman and Superman growing up and later pinup posters. He went on to study art under Wayne Thiebaud at Sacramento State College where he earned both his BA and MA degrees. In 2011, Ramos was the subject of a major show at the Albertina in Vienna.
His works are part of the collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others. Mel Ramos is worldwide distinguished for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses.
1954-55 Sacramento Junior College
1955-56 San Jose State College
1957 Sacramento State College B.A. Degree
1958 Sacramento State College M.A. Degree
1958-1960 Elk Grove High School , , Sacramento, CA
1960-1966 Mira Loma High School, Sacramento, CA
1965-1966 Sacramento State College, Sacramento , CA
1966 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
1966-1997 California State University, Hayward ,CA (Professor Emeritus)
Artist in Residence
1970 Syracuse University, Syracuse ,NY
1973 University of Wisconsin, Madison, WS
1986 National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grant
United States-France Exchange Fellowship
Selected Public Collections
Albertina, Vienna, Austria
Albright- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo ,NY
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, ARK
Art Bank, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
H.M, de Young Museum, San Francisco
deSaisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA
Guggenheim Museum, New York,NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,Washington D.C.
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Indianapolis Museum, Indianapolis, IN
Kunsthaus, Darmstadt, Germany
Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences, Peoria, IL
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles,CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Macedonia
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Neue Galerie Stadt Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis , MO
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Sintra Museo de Arte Moderna, Sintra, Portugal
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,NY
Monterey Museum Museum of Art, Monterey, CA