Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency (formerly: Travel Fund)



John R. Blakinger
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Blakinger’s study examines the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) in comparison to previous models of global exchange in American art.  It also interprets ROCI as a model for the spread of the art world into previously closed communist countries at the end of the Cold War.  Blakinger’s research will first result in a scholarly article targeted for a major academic journal and will have the potential to become part of a book-length project.

Bio: John R. Blakinger studies modern and contemporary art.  He completed his PhD at Stanford in 2016.  He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California and was previously a predoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, DC.  He will be the 2018-2019 Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. 

Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Ithaca, NY, USA
The late 1960s-70s were a watershed moment of artists’ experimentations with legal instruments (contracts/certificates), and legal activism. Van Haaften-Schick’s dissertation follows this phenomenon to consider the legacy of artists’ interventions in the legal system and Rauschenberg’s collaborative advocacy for artists’ resale royalties.

Bio: Lauren van Haaften-Schick is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at Cornell University, where her research merges histories and theories of art and law. Archives, curation, education, arts policy, and activism have been driving interests throughout thirteen years of previous work in art, which now informs her historical and methodological lens.

Kathleen Heil
Berlin, Germany
Heil’s project focuses on the Rauschenberg's collaborations with Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown, documenting her research at the Foundation through the writing of poems, as part of her ongoing investigation into cross-disciplinary art production as it relates to dance.

Bio: Kathleen Heil is a writer, dancer, and translator. She has published in the New Yorker, BOMB Daily, Fence, and other journals, and performed in New York, Madrid, San Francisco, and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Sturgis Foundation, among others, she lives and works in Berlin.

Grant Johnson
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Johnson’s research focuses on Rauschenberg’s Bones, Unions and Jammers series, created during and following Rauschenberg’s trip to India in 1975. His project contextualizes these works formally alongside contemporaneous developments in Indian visual culture. This research will inform Johnson’s article on these works, which he intends to publish in an academic journal of art history.

Bio: Grant Johnson is a writer and curator based in Los Angeles, where he is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Southern California. His writing has appeared in Artforum, Modern Painters, Surface and The Brooklyn Rail, among other publications. He is a graduate of Kenyon College.

Leah Mackin
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Mackin proposes to create a self-published artist’s book and a new body of works inspired by her experience utilizing the Rauschenberg Foundation Archives. Through observation, handling, and documentation of archival materials, she hopes to collect and re-present imagery and language as a reflection around themes of abstraction and emergent technologies.

Bio: Leah Mackin is a visual artist who explores reflection, response, and re-creation. After years preserving archival materials as a conservation technician, Mackin utilizes the methods of library documentation and the aesthetics of research in her practice. In recent projects, she studies gestures of canonical artists, as encountered through collection-based research.

Megan Metcalf
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Metcalf’s project examines a series of “Bastard Theater” performances at LACMA in 1966. Research in the Foundation’s archives will support the publication of a scholarly article in a dance or art history journal as well as public performances that take this history as a starting point.

Bio: Megan Metcalf brings a practitioner’s perspective to research in art history, combining work archival sources with the study of movement practices, in order to reconstruct performances and contextualize the art world’s recent attention to dance and performance. Her research and writing have been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the New York Public Library, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New York’s Danspace Project, and several funding bodies at UCLA, among others. Photo (c) Zach Winnick.

Heather M. O’Brien
Beirut, Lebanon
O’Brien is interested in Rauschenberg’s use of photography. Her research seeks to unpack the intentionality and framing that took place over the years, in various locations and within an array of psychological modalities, as well as expand the knowledge she shares with the young artists and students that she works with in Beirut, Lebanon.

Bio: Heather M. O'Brien is an artist based in Beirut, Lebanon. She received a BA from Loyola University New Orleans and an MFA from CalArts. Her work explores how capitalist desire and militaristic legacy construct our ideas about home. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut.

Letícia Pumar
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Focusing on the working process of Rauschenberg, Pumar seeks to highlight how knowledge production can occur at the crossroads of different disciplinary fields, as science, technology and art, and how she can be inspired by this research to develop her artistic works. Research will result in an academic paper about the relationship of science, technology and art on Rauschenberg’s artworks and projects, as well as formulation of artworks inspired by materials in the Archives.

Bio: Leticia Pumar is a Brazilian historian with a Master and a PhD in history of science. She is currently on a postdoctoral position researching about the relationship between scientific and artistic fields at Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro.  She is also a student in the School of Arts of Parque Lage.