ROCI USSR Research Guide


This guide provides links to digitized or online materials related specifically to ROCI USSR. Additional materials can be found in the ROCI research guide including press kits, oral histories, and videos.

Materials provided in this guide are for reference and research purposes only. For reproduction requests, email the archives.


In preparation for the ROCI USSR exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, in February 1989, Rauschenberg traveled extensively in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He visited Leningrad, Tbilisi, and Samarkand, as well as Moscow, where he met with the minister of culture and representatives from the Artists’ Union. ROCI USSR was the first solo exhibition of a Western post–World War II artist in the USSR, attracting more than 145,000 visitors. Among the works included in the exhibition were examples from his Soviet/American Array (1988–90), a series of photogravures that include a combination of Soviet and American imagery, as well as Samarkand Stitches (1988), a suite of wall hangings made from silkscreened sewn fabric. Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote in the exhibition catalogue, “For us, his exhibit is one of the symbols of a spiritual perestroika of our society.” Concurrent with the presentation at the Tretyakov, the Trisha Brown Dance Company also performed at the Cultural Palace. As a tribute to Rauschenberg’s arrival in Moscow, a group of young non-union Soviet artists organized an exhibition of their own work, Rauschenberg to Us, We to Rauschenberg. It was the inaugural exhibition of Moscow’s first commercial gallery, which becomes known as the First Gallery. Works from the exhibition were selected by the Soviet Minister of Culture to represent the USSR at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990. .


Related Artwork
Soviet/American Array is a series of photogravures, sometimes with the addition of collage, which include a combination of Soviet and American imagery. The series was published by Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), West Islip, New York.

View Soviet/American Array VII (RRF website)
View the poster (PDF)


Archival Documents 
Archival documents are limited to travel schedules and publicity,

View select reference scans of archival materials PDF 1, PDF 2


Catalog of an exhibition, Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange: ROCI USSR, held at the Central House of Artists, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, February 2–March 5, 1989. Essays by Donald Saff and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, previously published essay by Robert Hughes, and previously published statement by Rauschenberg.

View catalogue (PDF)


Documentary Photographs 
Documentary photographs of ROCI USSR include installation images, travel snapshots and other images related to Rauschenberg’s trip and exhibition. 

View select documentary photographs and digitized snapshots: PDF 1, PDF 2, PDF 3, PDF 4, PDF 5


Oral History
Oral history transcripts of individuals involved in ROCI.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Raw and edited footage of Rauschenberg’s ROCI-related travels.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Other Materials (not digitized)
The majority of archival materials related to ROCI are not yet digitized and must be accessed onsite at the Foundation. Comprehensive information on these collections is found on the Archives Collections webpage. To find listings on related materials once on this page, scroll to the desired collection, download the finding aid PDF, and keyword search for "ROCI."

Below is a list of recommended collections to search. Email archives for help or questions.

  • Audiovisual Collection
  • Charles Yoder records related to the Rauschenberg Studio
  • Chun-Wuei Su Chien papers
  • Donald Saff records on Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI)
  • Photograph Collection
  • Robert Rauschenberg papers
Group of artists

Robert Rauschenberg’s studio visit with local artists during his ROCI USSR research trip, 1988. Photo: Unattributed