Bernarducci Meisel Gallery hosts legendary pop artist Mel Ramos exhibit

Photo: Mel Ramos, Black Cat

Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, in conjunction with Louis K. Meisel Gallery, announces The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP!, an exhibition of new works from legendary pop artist Mel Ramos, Art Daily reports. Considered one of the most captivating and provocative painters of the American Pop Art movement, Ramos is celebrated for his playful yet seductive female nudes intertwined with elements of commercial pop culture. The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP! explores Ramos’ early affinity for comic book heroes and heroines as his subjects.

This body of work was inspired by one of Ramos’ forgotten sketches made decades ago. On a trip to Germany, Louis Meisel discovered Ramos’ drawing of the superheroine Black Cat. When he returned to the U.S., Meisel asked Ramos to execute the image as a painting. This was all the inspiration needed for Ramos to revive his series of superheroes and superheroines from the early 1960s and the exhibition The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP! was born.

From Captain America to Blonde Phantom, the series depicts an assemblage of characters from Ramos’ personal comic book collection. Featuring 12 colorful paintings, the playful imagery originates primarily from the 1940s—the “golden age” of comic books. One of the first artists to focus on the superheroine as a subject, Ramos has painted six females and six males for this exhibition, and his characters vary from the recognizable to the obscure.

Originally from Sacramento, California, Mel Ramos received his B.A. and M.A. from Sacramento State College in 1958. His works are held in many prestigious collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Museum of Modern Art (NYC), National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC).