Red Painting (1953–54)
This series of paintings was created primarily in red paint on grounds of newspaper and patterned fabrics that have been attached to the canvas. Heavily painted, pigments are 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 for a male artist.