Borealis (1988–92)

The imagery and coloration in the metal painting series, Borealis, was produced through chemical reactions (which Rauschenberg called “corrosions”), sometimes with the addition of acrylic paint. Tarnishing agents, such as acetic acid and ammonium salts, are brushed onto brass, copper, or bronze surfaces, resulting in a muted range of colors: green, brown, or black, depending on the type of metal support. By painting or silkscreening with a tarnish-resistant medium before applying the tarnishing agent, the artist created coloristic variations by contrasting the tarnished and untarnished metal. Additional silkscreened images were applied with acrylic-based inks. 

Bird Watch (Borealis)
Shady Love (Borealis)
Soliloquy (Borealis), 1989
Soliloquy (Borealis)
Pirate Bode (Borealis), 1989
Pirate Bode (Borealis)
Orrery (Borealis), 1990
Orrery (Borealis)
Chicken Painting Robert Rauschenberg
A Doodle (Borealis)
Copper Artwork by Robert Rauschenberg
Bible Bike (Borealis)