Bobbie Moline-Kramer is a painter whose style and material choices have evolved over the years, moving between keen chromatic precision, pop-infused scenarios, and, increasingly, a more textured, gestural practice that addresses aspects of natural life from landscape and environmental justice to the spirit of human sexuality.
Her Shunga series combines her passion for threads of both European and Asian art history with modern traditions of abstract expressionist process-painting. Using a complexly layered mixed media approach, these poetic works of subtle palette and appealing surfaces feature elements of an historical Asian erotic drawing style called shunga. Emerging from within her seductive surface treatments, elements of erogenous anatomy interrupt the marbled topography — making explicit the links between the body and the land — the hand of the lover and the hand of the artist — through the power of a metaphor given durable form. Oh yeah, and they’re all self-portraits.
Beyond the immediate appeal of the works themselves, curators have taken notice of the aforementioned art historical concepts and contexts for viewing and understanding the work. In a pair of exhibitions that each qualify as beyond perfect, in February 2020, at least three of the larger Shunga, as well as a lengthy scroll-format work called “Zen Sensual” plus new work-in-progress called “Hand to Heart” will all be displayed in the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art (SIVA) fine art gallery in Shanghai, China, under the direction of Xie xie Shimo. Moline-Kramer will also be a guest lecturer there.
In May of 2021 she will have a month-long solo show of the “American Shunga” in Venice, Italy adjacent to the 59th Biennial, with the support of Giudecca Art District (GAD) Director Pier Paulo Scelsi. The potential of this exhibition to augment the Asian context with a Western tradition of sensualized (mostly female) forms across the ancient, Renaissance, and Neo-Classical traditions, both religious and secular.
“We have all fallen in love with the concept of having the show in a 16th-century Roman Catholic cathedral and there are two available; one still functioning and another decommissioned,” Moline-Kramer tells the Weekly. “I’m hoping for the one still functioning, I would love that. I was born and raised Catholic and have had a lifelong affinity for cathedrals.”