Described by Lucy Lippart as "the major female figure in New York in the 60s in terms of conceptual art," Lee Lozano developed her signature style of painting alongside peers including Carl Andre, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and Richard Serra. Her mission was to merge art and life, images and ideas. This was accomplished by an intensity and physicality somewhat antithetical to the climate of Conceptual Art of the time. And although her intense career lasted only a decade, she has been a pioneering force in the art world, particularly to a younger generation of artists, which is still deeply felt today.
Lozano sought to seek extremes, so it is fitting that her paintings from the Tool Series, including the present work, Ram, were all titled after verbs. These paintings depict screwdrivers, bolts, clamps and hammers, which appear machine-like and almost Sci-Fi. The sharp and shooting geometric form that runs across two canvases has obvious sexual connotations. Lozano used three-inch housepainters brushes and oxide paints to create a finely ridged, slightly reflective surface whose brushmarks convey the shape and directional thrust of the form and suggest a full-bodied physicality.
"Even Children are fascinated (by tools); they represent a world of possibilities. Tools are used to build the world. Lozano alludes to their common association with male potency...The formats of these paintings are enormous...they often consist of two or even three panels. Producing them required the artist's total physical commitment. To the viewer, these gigantic pictures are overwhelming, fascinating, and at the same time frightening" (I. Müller-Westermann, "'Making Art is the Greatest Act of All', Lee Lozano's Investigations," exh. cat., Lee Lozano, Moderna Museet, 2010, pp. 32 and 34).