Mel Ramos



Melvin John Ramos (July 24, 1935 – October 14, 2018) was a distinguished American painter renowned for his figurative art, often highlighting female nudes, with a unique fusion of realist and abstract elements. Born into a first-generation Portuguese-Azorean immigrant family in Sacramento, California, he ascended to fame during the 1960s’ pop art movement. Ramos is celebrated for his iconic paintings depicting superheroes and buxom female nudes in unusual contexts, such as emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, appearing amidst candy wrappers, or languishing in martini glasses. Alongside his creative pursuits, he also shared his knowledge and passion as a university art professor. Ramos began receiving significant recognition in the early 1960s. Since 1959, his portfolio has been showcased in over 150 solo and 120 group exhibitions. His groundbreaking contributions to the pop art movement, including his comic book-inspired paintings, saw him exhibited alongside famed contemporaries like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. He joined artists such as Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, and Wayne Thiebaud in celebrating aspects of mass media and popular culture through their artwork. Ramos’ pieces have been featured in major pop art exhibitions across the U.S. and Europe, and his work has been reproduced globally in books, catalogs, and periodicals. His outstanding contributions to the art world earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grant in 1986. In 2009, Ramos participated in the inaugural Portuguese American bilingual art book and exhibition, “Ashes to Life a Portuguese American Story in Art,” in California, alongside fellow artists Nathan Oliveira, John Mattos, and João de Brito. Ramos’ work first found a home at Leo Castelli’s gallery. Later, Ivan Karp introduced Ramos to art dealer Louis Meisel, and his work has been represented by the Louis K. Meisel Gallery since 1971. He has long-standing relationships with San Francisco’s Modernism gallery, Galerie Ernst Hilger in Austria, and Burkhard Eikelmann Gallery in Düsseldorf. Ramos’ work was honored with a major exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna in 2011. A retrospective spanning over half a century of his work was unveiled at the Crocker Art Museum in his native Sacramento on June 2, 2012. This exhibit marked his first major hometown showcase and the first American retrospective in 35 years. Ramos’ pieces have a permanent home in prestigious institutions, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.
Anne-French Fine Arts
error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top