Posters

1963–1997

The democratic and inclusive aspect of poster making was well suited to Rauschenberg’s artistic temperament. The artist appreciated not only the wide audience he could reach with posters, as they are made in large editions and are inexpensive to buy, but also the opportunity to collaborate with printmakers. Where poster art is typically marked by its easy legibility, Rauschenberg’s poster design, like his work in other mediums, is better appreciated with prolonged viewing. The collage aesthetic that combines text and imagery characterizes most of his poster production.

The first poster designed by Rauschenberg was for the opening of his first retrospective exhibition at the Jewish Museum, New York, in 1963. This began a career-long tradition of the artist designing posters for his own exhibitions—not only for his mid- and late-career retrospectives (held at the National Collection of Fine Arts [now the Smithsonian American Art Museum], Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), but also for the various international venues of his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) projects. His other posters were often used to advertise cultural events, frequently for collaborators, such as the choreographers Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown, as well as to promote the wide-ranging social and political causes that Rauschenberg supported. Among the latter group was a poster featuring the American bald eagle, which he designed for the first Earth Day in 1970. Over the course of his career, Rauschenberg designed over one hundred posters.

Poster for Robert Rauschenberg, The Jewish Museum
1963
1963
Poster for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
1965
1965
Untitled [self-portrait for Dwan poster]
1965
1965
Poster for 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering
1966
1966
Earth Day
1970
1970
Poster for Dayton’s Gallery 12
1970
1970
Poster for Jammers Exhibition, Leo Castelli Gallery
1976
1976
Poster for Rauschenberg Retrospective, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1976
1976
Poster for WOZA Afrika, 1986
Poster for WOZA Afrika
1986
1986
Last Turn—Your Turn [print for Earth Summit ’92 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]
1991
1991
Poster for ROCI USSR
1989
1989
Poster for Habitat II
1996
1996
Poster for Guggenheim Retrospective
1997
1997