Oct 28, 2014


Rauschenberg returning to his studio after a junkyard trip. Captiva, Florida, 1982

For nearly forty years, Robert Rauschenberg maintained a home and studio in Captiva, Florida. More recently, the foundation has sustained a commitment to the region by converting those facilities into a dynamic artist residency program, as well as by making a number of grants to area non-profit organizations. In fact, since 2012 the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has invested approximately $3.2 million into the local economy of Southwest Florida (not including grants). It is in this spirit that the foundation recently announced a partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to resource local non-profits who are working to improve the quality of life of Southwest Florida residents. Today marks the launch of that new grant program. Interested applicants can learn more by visiting www.floridacommunity.com or contacting Jacqueline Ehlers at JEhlers@floridacommunity.com or by phone at 239-274-5900.  

Oct 23, 2014


Aqua Fanfare (Urban Bourbon), 1993, acrylic on copper and mirrored aluminum, 72 13/16 x 48 13/16 inches (184.9 x 124 cm). 

456 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
November 1–December 13, 2014
 

I like seeing people using materials that one’s not accustomed to seeing in art. That has a particular value. New materials have fresh associations, physical properties and qualities that have built into them the possibility of forcing you or helping you do something else.
—Robert Rauschenberg

In collaboration with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to announce an exhibition of Robert Rauschenberg’s works on metal of the 1980s and 1990s. This will be the first major presentation of his work on the West Coast since MOCA’s acclaimed traveling exhibition of the Combines in 2006.

Rauschenberg’s protean outlook ushered in a new era of postwar American art in the wake of Abstract Expressionism with a free and experimental approach that drew inspiration from conceptual, materialist, and gestural precedents. His inventive use of discarded materials and appropriated images eviscerated distinctions between medium and genre, abstraction and representation, while his “flatbed picture plane,” which absorbed found objects into the realm of paintings, forever changed the relationship between artwork and viewer.

“Works on Metal” traces Rauschenberg’s obsession, beginning in the mid-1980s, with the potential of metal. Exchanging canvas for flat sheets of metal mounted directly to the wall, he worked in consequent series using aluminum, brass, copper, and bronze, harnessing the natural hues and reflections of each. He then juxtaposed their intrinsic qualities with secondary processes, from the application of acrylic and enamel paints and silkscreened photographic images to his fine-tuning of chemical reactions and manipulation of industrial scrap and refuse.

For his prescient project of global diplomacy known as ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange, 1984–91), Rauschenberg worked and exhibited in eleven countries including Chile and Cuba, silkscreening photographic images taken during his extensive travels onto huge sheets of copper and stainless steel. Drawing upon this bountiful image bank, his ongoing investigation of painting on metal would prove to be one of the most inventive periods of his career, taking on ever new inflections as he traveled to Mexico, Germany, Tibet, the former U.S.S.R., Venezuela, and other locations. In the Urban Bourbon series (1988–96), reflective depths overlap with fragmented photography and gestural brushwork; in the Borealis paintings (1988–92), chemicals and ammonium salts were applied to brass, copper, and bronze sheets to achieve corrosive effects; in the steely Night Shades (1991), acids were used to rapidly tarnish the mirrored and brushed aluminum surfaces.

Parallel to his works on flat metal surfaces, Rauschenberg collected discarded automotive parts, gas station signs, and other scrap materials, which he manipulated into both freestanding and wall-mounted sculptures; the so-called Gluts (1986–89/1991–94) echoed the Combines in their reconfiguration of found objects. Rauschenberg referred to the Gluts, which he continued to produce after the seven-year ROCI. tour, as “souvenirs without nostalgia;” he aimed to create art that was “as fresh, strange and unpredictable as what’s going on around you.” In the conceptual and material breadth of the metal works, Rauschenberg fulfilled the partial relinquishing of authorship, allowing art to integrate with the mess of life.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Joachim Pissarro.

Oct 22, 2014


Untitled (Tablet Series), 1974, Embossed paper, and cardboard, 31 1/4 x 22 3/8 inches (79.4 x 56.8 cm)

18 E 77th Street
New York 
October 9–December 20, 2014
 

Castelli Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Rauschenberg. A Visual Lexicon. The exhibition includes work that spans the entire career of the artist, dating from 1959 to 2008 and realized in a variety of media. When viewed individually the works appear to be very different from each other; however, in reality they share a visual language unique to the work of Robert Rauschenberg. 

Rauschenberg adopted, and gradually allowed to reappear, many photographic sources for his work; Rosalind Krauss in 1997 brilliantly described these visual sources as Rauschenberg’s “perpetual inventory.” Just as important to the repetition and arrangement of the silk-screened and collaged imagery is the playful juxtaposition of their placement, whether set one next to the other or, occasionally, one above the other. The combined effort of selecting images and juxtaposing and layering them reveals the artist’s perception of the work, and a single artwork may become like a diary of a day in the life of the artist.

Included in the exhibition is Untitled, a combine of a pocket watch, chain, and tin can created circa 1959, whose components are retranslated in other works throughout the show. Solvent transfers and collages on cloth and paper from the 1970s, including work from the Hoarfrost Series, offer a wider glimpse into the artist’s personal relationship to his materials and his interest in the temporality of combined images. The most physically imposing work in the show, at more than seven feet tall and 21 feet wide, Arcadian Survey (Spread), 1977, continues the familiar thread of visual repetition but introduces mirrored panels, an element that further contributes to the idea of duplicating and possibly multiplying the same image again and again. The white, collaged fabric panel in this multidimensional work echoes three works created as part of the Tablet Series in 1974, in which pieces of cardboard are sandwiched between layers of white paper in such a way that we may only perceive them through the changing textures of the surface. The most recent work in the exhibition is Untitled, 2008, a patinated and painted bronze sculpture of a ruler balanced upon a ball of twine. The juxtaposition of the materials of this work reinforces the artist’s interest in creating a conflict through which something ethereal may emerge.