Carol Rama was born in Turin in 1918, to a bourgeois Catholic family. Her first watercolours, made in the 1930s, were censored: she invented a visual language that countered the traditional male representation of sexuality. In Rama’s work, the female body is mutilated and violated, but at the same time, it is seductive, dynamic and vital. From 1950, Rama embraced abstraction, and ten years later, she moved on to informal art, creating ‘bricolage’: organic compositions made of bits of glass, nails, syringes and electric wire. In 1970, she created ‘material-images’, with used cut inner tubes, as if they were paint, to represent skin or flesh. From the 1980s, she returned to figuration, painting watercolours on architectural boards.
In 2003 she was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. She created her last work in 2007, ending a career that had lasted 70 years. She died in September 2015.