Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Robert Rauschenberg

How do I love thee, Robert Rauschenberg? Let me count the ways.

Ruby Goose, Robert Rauschenberg, 1979

Ruby Goose, Robert Rauschenberg, 1979 (detail)

At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC:

Reservoir, Robert Rauschenberg, 1961
oil, wood, graphite, fabric, rubber, metal on canvas

At the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington DC:

Dam, Robert Rauschenberg, 1959
oil paint, photomechanical reproductions, cloth and metal on canvas
"Dam is one of the influential hybrid works known as the Combines that Robert Rauschenberg made between 1954 and 1964. Described by his contemporary Jasper Johns as 'painting playing the game of sculpture,' the Combines incorporate both two- and three-dimensional elements, many of which Rauschenberg collected from the streets of his Lower Manhattan neighbourhood. In an often quoted statement from 1959, the artist wrote: 'Painting relates to both art and life... (I try to act in the gap between the two.)' Reflecting the unexpected contrasts and continuous flux of urban life, Dam invites the viewer's eye to roam among its parts, making unexpected connections between high and low, word and image, art and everyday life."
At the Museum of Modern Art in New York:

Rebus, Robert Rauschenberg, 1955
Bed, Robert Rauschenberg, 1955,
oil and pencil on pillow, quilt and sheet on wood supports

I love the way Rauschenberg combined collage, paint, text and silkscreen printing with found 3-dimensional objects. Though no longer an uncommon practice, it was innovative in its time.

To hear a conversation between Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker about Bed, and about the place of Rauschenberg in the history of modern art, click on the brief video below:

No comments: