Red Paintings (1953–54)

These paintings were created primarily in red paint on grounds of newspaper and patterned fabrics attached to the canvas. Pigments were applied in a variety of ways, including brushstrokes, drips, impasto, and squeezed directly from the tube. The later Red Paintings from the summer of 1954 incorporate found objects and anticipate the three-dimensionality of the Combines. Rauschenberg chose red as a challenge because his teacher at Black Mountain College, Josef Albers, had said it was the most difficult color.