Art & Archives

Mar 27, 2020

rauschenberg at home

Rauschenberg at home, with his dog Laika, working on a transfer drawing, Lafayette Street, New York, 1968. Photo: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust

Ranging from oral histories to focused artwork studies to digitized archives, the Rauschenberg Foundation has a multitude of resources on its website available for free. Our favorites are listed below or explore our site to find your own.

Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project: Downloadable transcripts for over 50 interviews, as told by the artist’s family, friends, and many collaborators, conducted from 2014 – 2018.

Art in Context: Individual artworks by Rauschenberg are examined within the scope of the artist’s work and life and within a broader art-historical and historical context.

Lightboxes: A curated selection of artworks and archival materials, providing a focused look at central themes and topics of interest.

Archives Digital Highlights: Select digitized archival materials from the Foundation's collections, including audiovisual materials, documentary photographs, and artist writings.

Hunter Research Methods Essays: Detailed essays on select individual work by Rauschenberg in the Foundation’s holdings, written by students in the Hunter College, CUNY, Research Methods: Robert Rauschenberg class, Fall 2018.

Hunter Curatorial Practicum Nightshades and Phantoms Digital Catalogue: Exhibition catalogue for Night Shades and Phantoms: An Exhibition of Works by Robert Rauschenberg, curated by students in the Hunter College, CUNY, Curatorial Practicum, Fall 2018-Spring 2019.

Robert Rauschenberg: Comprehensive information on Rauschenberg as an artist, including exhibition and performance histories, chronology, and bibliographies.

Rauschenberg Artworks: Images and tombstone information on over 750 artworks by Rauschenberg.

Feb 26, 2020

2020 Archives Research Residents

The Rauschenberg Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients for the 2020 Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency, a program for individuals interested in researching in the Rauschenberg Foundation Archives in New York City. Learn more about this year's residents, their upcoming research projects, and the Archives Research Residency program.

Jan 30, 2020

Primary Mobiloid Glut, 1988, from the series Gluts

Primary Mobiloid Glut, 1988, from the series Gluts

Presenting a concise survey of the radical work of Robert Rauschenberg, this exhibition traces the arc of the artist’s career, from the 1950s to the 1990s, through his pioneering use of media and imagery from popular culture. Rauschenberg manipulated everyday objects in his Combines and subsequently created hybrid works that combined painting, sculpture, collage, photography, and printmaking. The Norton is pleased to present key examples from five decades of his career, exemplifying his unconventional approach to materials and the creative process, one that has profoundly influenced younger generations of artists. The exhibition is organized around the transformative acquisitions the Whitney has made as a result of the vision and generosity of Leonard A. Lauder, as well as works that have been given to the Museum by Emily Fisher Landau and Barbara and Richard S. Lane.

For more information, please see:

Sep 23, 2019

Installation View, Robert Rauschenberg Against the Grid

Untitled drawings by Rauscehnberg from 1983, exhibited at Pace Gallery Seoul. Photo by Sangtae Kim

Seoul, August 23, 2019 – Pace Gallery will present a solo exhibition of never-before-exhibited works on paper by Robert Rauschenberg, whose unconventional approach to art anticipated and catalyzed the Pop Art movement of the sixties. Created in 1983, this select group of thirteen drawings both expand and challenge our understanding of the artist’s diverse multi-media practice that spans painting, photography, printmaking, papermaking, sculpture, and performance. Building on Rauschenberg’s signature style of juxtaposing real-world images, sourced from magazines and newspapers, alongside found materials, such as fabrics and other everyday objects, these drawings examine a lesser known aspect of his artistic process: the grid format. These works, with their broken- down, appropriated images that are reassembled on grids, foreshadow the internet revolution of the late eighties. Robert Rauschenberg Against the Grid: Drawings, 1983 will be on view from September 19 - November 9, 2019.

Discovered in June 2007 in Rauschenberg’s studio in Captiva, Florida, these rare drawings are composed of a wide-range of materials—solvent transferred images, fabric, watercolor, and pencil on paper—which are familiar to the artist’s work. What distinguishes this suite of drawings from Rauschenberg’s larger body of work is his introduction of a grid format. The grids in each drawing, which are lightly incised on 23-by-18-inch paper, serve as a launchpad for the artist. On top of the grids, we see Rauschenberg spontaneously building out the picture plane with photographic images, which are inverted, flipped, and mirrored, and with other, non-traditional materials such as fabric—a medium that he used prominently throughout his work. Similar images and motifs of everyday objects that Rauschenberg was drawn to throughout his lifetime, such as maps, chairs, shoes, animals, vehicles and other objects of movement, recur in this series.

While at other times, especially from 1983 forward, Rauschenberg used his own photographs in his work, all of the images that the artist sourced for this set of drawings were culled from printed media—Soviet Life, Scientific American, and Fort Myers News-Press, among other national and international news outlets. The use of a printing press for the application of his trademark transfer technique lends a uniquely mechanical connection to the sourcing of the images from mass media, thus masking the artist’s hand in the transfer process. This approach would become a key characteristic of his practice which he first began experimenting with during a trip to Cuba in 1952 and would embrace throughout the rest of his career. Through his use of the printing press to develop evenly transferred images, Rauschenberg was engaging with the history of mechanical reproduction, which would enable the dissemination of a single image in multiples and drastically alter the course of the 20th century.

To further enliven these drawings, Rauschenberg made gestural marks on top of the overlaid photographs through the use of watercolor and acrylic and added pencil strokes. Equally important are the areas of the grid that he left blank, which create a dialogue between absence and presence on the plane. Nonetheless, with the application of grids, these drawings attest to Rauschenberg’s disregard for the limits of parameter in his work. As he told art historian Barbara Rose, “I would substitute anything for preconception or deliberateness. If that moment can’t be as fresh, strange, and unpredictable as what’s going on around, then it’s false.” Emblematic of the rapid technical changes of the 20th century, these works offer a glimpse into a particular window of time in modern history and further blur the distinction between art and life, a central theme in understanding Rauschenberg’s comprehensive oeuvre.

Robert Rauschenberg Against the Grid: Drawings, 1983 will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by David White, Senior Curator at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Feb 5, 2019

2019 Archives Research Residency Grantees

The Rauschenberg Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients for the 2019 Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency, a program for individuals interested in researching in the Rauschenberg Foundation Archives in New York City. This year’s winners, from six different countries, will be in residence at the Foundation throughout 2019.

Visit the Archives Research Residency webpage to learn more about the program as well as the 2019 residents and their research projects. 

Nov 28, 2018

Spreads Ex Image

First UK Exhibition Dedicated to Rauschenberg's Major Series of Spreads, Inspired by "Autobiographical Feelings," After His Celebrated Combines

“They are more like ideas than objects―reels of association run through the projector of a mind unusually sensitive to the up-and-down jangles of modern life.” -Thomas B. Hess

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac London, together with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, presents the first UK exhibition dedicated to the American artist’s remarkable Spreads, a series that occupies an important position in his oeuvre. The large-scale Spreads (1975–83) encapsulate many of Robert Rauschenberg’s best-known motifs and materials. Twelve key works from the series―the largest of which stretches to over six metres wide―will go on view at Ropac’s London gallery from 28 November 2018. An integral series of paper collages from the same period will also be exhibited, incorporating fabrics and techniques that relate to the Spreads series.

One of the most influential artists of the post-war period, Rauschenberg revolutionised the picture plane with his hybrid painting-sculptures, created through the innovative inclusion of everyday objects―what he called “gifts from the street”. These Combines (1954–64) marked a watershed moment in the history of post-war art, redefining and expanding the boundaries of what could be considered an artwork. It was in 1976, as the artist prepared for an important mid-career retrospective, that Rauschenberg found inspiration for his new Spreads series. The exhibition, which opened at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now Smithsonian American Art Museum) in Washington, D.C., offered Rauschenberg the opportunity to revisit works he had not seen for up to 25 years, prompting what he described as “autobiographical feelings”, and imparting a retrospective aspect to his new works.

In these Spreads, “classic Rauschenberg” motifs from his object-laden Combines resurfaced, including tyres, doors, bedding, ironing boards, mirrors, electric lights, ventilators, metal traps, images of exotic animals, bird wings, umbrellas and parachutes that recalled those in his acclaimed 1963 performance piece Pelican. Yet these fulcrum works were also informed by the materials and images of his silken Jammers (1975–76) and solvent- transfer Hoarfrosts (1974–76), whilst prefiguring his later metal works from the 1980s–90s, such as the Shiners (1986–93), Urban Bourbons (1988–96) and Borealis (1988–92).

“Rauschenberg is a painter of history―the history of now rather than then.” -John Richardson

Rather than a purely retrospective exercise, the development of his Spreads is also suggestive of a more complex relationship between past and present, integrating not only elements from his earlier work but also reflecting changes in his life, his practice and in contemporary art at the time. Rauschenberg’s use of fabric colour blocks in his Spreads not only represented a shift in his colour palette from the urban experience of New York to the bright oranges, pinks and yellows of life in Florida, but also engaged with recent artistic developments such as Colour Field painting and Minimalism, incorporating references to a new generation of artists.

In the works directly preceding the Spreads, particularly his Cardboards (1971–72) and fabric Jammers, Rauschenberg had eliminated imagery in favour of a sparser visual language focused on materials. After the relative minimalism of these series, the excesses of the Spreads marked a triumphant return to imagery. “In recent years this artist has left everything out, the Jammers being the prime example,” wrote critic William Zimmer of the Spreads exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1976. “Rauschenberg has put everything in again. Replacing the raucous gestural passages that mark his early work are tighter passages [. . .] Although there is once again a lot going on, it is cleaner. The whole earth catalogue, from arcane imagery to very public signs, is back and actual pendant objects reappear―a rubber raft, chairs, tyres, electric lights.” The pendant objects that appear in the works on view include lightbulbs, umbrellas, mirrors, a metal bucket, split tyre, and even an oar. These are affixed to wooden panels and collaged with fabric scraps and solvent transferred media images drawn from contemporary newspapers and magazines.

Asked about his use of the term “Spread”, Rauschenberg responded that it meant “as far as I can make it stretch, and land (like a farmer’s ‘spread’), and also the stuff you put on toast”. This term also clearly refers to the scale of the works, with their large, fabric-covered supports that stretch across the wall. The first work in the series, Yule 75, was created in December 1975 and cut into 56 irregular pieces that Rauschenberg distributed to his friends as Christmas gifts. Another of the earliest, Rodeo Palace (1976) was commissioned for the exhibition The Great American Rodeo at the Fort Worth Art Museum, and later included in Rauschenberg’s 1976 retrospective. The same expansiveness and breadth of vision characterises the works included in this exhibition, with the largest work, Half a Grandstand (1978), stretching to over six metres.

The accompanying exhibition catalogue with an essay by Elisa Schaar, published to coincide with the exhibition opening, is the first publication devoted to Rauschenberg’s Spreads.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has represented the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation since April 2015.

Oct 28, 2018

Rauschenberg Construction Zone Sculpture

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile, an expansive installation featuring pioneering American artist Robert Rauschenberg’s magnum opus The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98). Completed over a period of 17 years, The 1/4 Mile is composed of 190 panels that, combined, measure approximately 1,000 feet—or nearly a quarter mile—in length. Signifying the distance between Rauschenberg’s studio and his home on Captiva Island, Florida, the quarter-mile span is representative of the artist’s central belief in working in the “gap between” art and life. Cross-cultural exchange was a driving force of Rauschenberg’s art practice. He traveled extensively throughout his career, and he sourced the wide range of materials and imagery included in The 1/4 Mile from Asia, Europe, Latin America, northern Africa, and the United States. The piece comprises an eclectic array of materials including various textiles, images culled from mass media, and photographs by the artist that are interspersed between bold passages of paint, while everyday objects such as chairs, cardboard boxes, and traffic lights add sculptural depth. The work also has an audio element, composed of sounds that Rauschenberg recorded during his travels. Together the visual and aural components of The 1/4 Mile, coupled with its monumental scale, create an immersive viewing environment. This exhibition marks the first time the work will be exhibited in its entirety.

Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile is co-curated by Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, and Katia Zavistovski, Assistant Curator of Modern Art. This installation will occupy the entire floor of BCAM, Level 3.

Rauschenberg often referred to The 1/4 Mile as a self-portrait, and the work reveals the broad scope of his artistic practice through the multitude of materials and techniques employed (including printmaking, photography, sculpture, painting, and use of technology). The piece serves as a self-contained retrospective of the artist’s oeuvre, referencing important bodies of work such as his White Paintings (1951), Combines (1954–64), Currents (1970), Cardboards (1971–72), Spreads (1975–83), and Gluts (1986–94); his metal paintings including Shiners (1986– 93), Urban Bourbons (1988–96), and Night Shades (1991); and the series Anagrams (A Pun) (1997–2002). Some of these references are evident in works on view in Rauschenberg: In and About L.A. (August 11, 2018–February 10, 2019), a LACMA exhibition focusing on Rauschenberg’s longstanding relationship with Los Angeles that features a selection of works he made in L.A. between the late 1960s and the late 1990s. In addition to being self-referential, in The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece Rauschenberg also includes images of artwork from multiple cultures and time periods, situating his work in the context of a global art history.

“Robert Rauschenberg’s The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece has always been an inspiration to me. This work is an immersive meditation on the whole world of culture as well as the artist’s own life of ideas. It’s global and personal—a museum of images unto itself,” said exhibition co-curator Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director.

Rauschenberg: In and About L.A.

Rauschenberg: In and About L.A. is a special presentation focusing on the indelible impact that Los Angeles had on Rauschenberg’s artistic practice. On view in the Resnick Pavilion, the exhibition comprises works from LACMA’s collection as well as loans from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Gemini G.E.L., and the Lyn and Norman Lear Collection. Highlights of the exhibition include two large-scale prints from LACMA’s collection: Booster (1967), a life-size self-portrait printed at Gemini G.E.L. that at the time of its creation was the largest hand-pulled print ever made and the first to combine lithography and screenprinting; and Currents (1970), which, at 54 feet long, exceeded Rauschenberg’s previous experiments with monumentality. Rauschenberg created an audio montage of contemporaneous news broadcasts to accompany Currents when it was first exhibited in 1970. This audio component was recently re-discovered and digitized by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Rauschenberg: In and About L.A. presents Currents with its original soundtrack for the first time in almost 50 years. Also on view is Rauschenberg’s Rodeo Palace (Spread) (1975–76), photographs of Los Angeles from the artist’s In + Out City Limits series (1981), and his L.A. Uncovered screenprints (1998).

"Los Angeles played a pivotal role in Rauschenberg's artistic development. Over the course of six decades he created some of his most groundbreaking work in L.A., inspired by the environment, the region's technological innovations, and the collaborative opportunities he found here. Many of the works in In and About L.A. are also notable precedents to or are directly referenced in The 1/4 Mile—this is a unique opportunity to show these works concurrently," said Katia Zavistovski, Assistant Curator of Modern Art and curator of Rauschenberg: In and About L.A.

Sep 18, 2018

Robert Rauschenberg Sorting through the photography archives at the Miami Herald

Rauschenberg at the Miami Herald, looking through photography archives for source material for Cover for Tropic, The Miami Herald (1979), published in an edition of 600,000, December 1979. Photo: Attributed to John Doman.

Today we announce the open call for the second Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency (formerly Travel Fund), a program that provides partial support for costs related to travel and living expenses that scholars may incur in order to do research at the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives located in Manhattan, New York. 
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives, consisting of Robert Rauschenberg’s personal papers and the records from his Florida and New York studios, is the most comprehensive body of information on the artist’s life and career.  The 2019 Rauschenberg Archives Research Residency, renamed to reflect the recipients’ one- to two-week onsite research intensives and select participation in Foundation activities, supports continued scholarly and investigative use of archival materials by addressing financial barriers that may prohibit onsite access to the Archives. In addition, the application is open to all individuals encouraging research opportunities that include as well as move beyond traditional art historical discourse.
We invite scholars, academics, artists, and other researchers who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials onsite at the Foundation to apply. To be eligible, applicants must:
  • reside 50 miles or more away from the Foundation;
  • not have received a grant or other funding from the Foundation in the past 3 years; and
  • be at the graduate level and above.
All individuals eligible to travel in the United States are invited to apply. Please note, priority will be given to independent researchers or those affiliated with institutions with limited resources. Present and former staff and consultants are ineligible. Archives Research Residencies are typically one- to two- weeks and can be scheuled between February 4 – December 12, 2019.
Applications opened on September 17, 2018 and will be open until the November 2, 2018 deadline. More information, including eligible projects, selection criteria, and how to apply, can be found in Grants .

Partial support for travel and housing costs that may incur in order to do research at the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives in Manhattan, New York
Individuals who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials housed onsite at the Rauschenberg Foundation
February 4 – December 12, 2019
Range from $500 - $2,500 depending on travel distance
November 2, 2018
Early January 2019

Mar 7, 2018

2018 Travel Grant Recipients

The Rauschenberg Foundation is pleased to announce the award winners for the 2018 Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Travel Fund, a resource for researchers and scholars interested in visiting the Rauschenberg Foundation Archives in New York City.  The Fund provides partial support for incurred costs related to travel expenses related to the visit. This year's winners were selected from a competitive pool including historians, artists, curators, writers, poets, and educators from over twenty-five different countries. They will be researching in residence at the Foundation throughout 2018.

"Robert Rauschenberg was an artist of endless possibility, collaboration, and interpretation; his archives are the same. The inaugural researchers have the potential to reinterpret materials with diverse viewpoints and unique lines of investigations." said Francine Snyder, Director of Archives and Scholarship. "We look forward to contemporary interpretations of the archives." 

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives, consisting of Robert Rauschenberg's personal papers and the records from his Florida and New York studios, is the most comprehensive body of information on the artist's life and career.  The Archives Research Travel Fund supports continued scholarly and investigative use of these materials by supporting individuals that demonstrate a compelling need to use the archives and addressing financial barriers that may prohibit onsite access to the Archives. The application is open to all individuals encouraging research opportunities that move beyond traditional art historical discourse.

Please visit the Travel Fund page to learn more about the travel fund as well as the 2018 recipients and their research projects. 

Dec 5, 2017

Robert Rauschenberg Sorting through the photography archives at the Miami Herald

Rauschenberg at the Miami Herald, looking through photography archives for source material for Cover for Tropic, The Miami Herald (1979), published in an edition of 600,000 in Miami, December 1979. Photo: Attributed to John Doman

We are excited to announce the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Travel Fund, a new opportunity for researchers and scholars interested in visiting the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives in New York City.  The Fund will provide partial support for incurred costs related to travel expenses related to the visit.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives, consisting of Robert Rauschenberg’s personal papers and the records from his Florida and New York studios, is the most comprehensive body of information on the artist’s life and career.  The Archives Research Travel Fund supports continued scholarly and investigative use of these materials by supporting individuals that demonstrate a compelling need to use the archives and addressing financial barriers that may prohibit onsite access to the Archives. In addition, the application is open to all individuals, thereby encouraging research opportunities that move beyond traditional art historical discourse.

We invite scholars, academics, artists, and other researchers who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials onsite at the Foundation to apply. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • reside 50 miles or more away from the Foundation;
  • not have received a grant or other funding from the Foundation in the past 3 years; and
  • be at the graduate level and above or equivalent.

All individuals eligible to travel in the United States are invited to apply. Please note, priority will be given to independent researchers or those affiliated with institutions with limited resources. Eligible travel dates are between March 1 – December 14, 2018.

Applications will open November 14, 2017, deadline to apply is December 15, 2017. More information, including eligible projects, selection criteria, and how to apply, can be found in Grants or by downloading the application guidelines.

Nov 13, 2017

"Retroactive I" - 1963

Major Retrospective Includes Vast Array of Work from the Boundary-Breaking Artist’s Six-Decade Career

A fuse was lit in the 1953 art world when Robert Rauschenberg convinced artist Willem de Kooning to allow him to erase one of his drawings; fellow artist Jasper Johns executed the inscription within the frame: “ERASED DE KOONING DRAWING ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG 1953.” Now seen as a bombshell that shook the foundations of Abstract Expressionism, Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) is an outstanding example of Rauschenberg’s irreverent yet incisive style, and it famously pushes the limits of what art can be.

This special work was acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from Rauschenberg through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis, an instrumental member of the board of trustees who befriended Rauschenberg late in her life. It now anchors the museum’s exceptional holdings of the artist’s early work and is a highlight in the West Coast exclusive of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, on view at SFMOMA from November 18, 2017 through March 25, 2018.

Formerly presented at Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the exhibition’s iteration in San Francisco pays special tribute to SFMOMA’s close and longstanding relationship with Rauschenberg. From hosting his first retrospective — organized by Walter Hopps in 1976 — to spearheading the recent Rauschenberg Research Project — an ambitious digital resource published on that makes art historical and conservation research about Rauschenberg works widely accessible — SFMOMA has long been devoted to this extraordinary and trail-blazing figure. This presentation is also dedicated to Phyllis C. Wattis, in honor of her generosity and cherished relationship with the artist and SFMOMA.

“Robert Rauschenberg and Phyllis Wattis were kindred spirits,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Both were eager to discover new ideas that broke old boundaries. They relished life and art with expansiveness of spirit and always with a twinkle in their eyes.”

A defining figure of contemporary art, Rauschenberg produced a prolific body of work across a wide range of media — including painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, photography and performance — frequently and fearlessly defying the traditional art practice of his time. Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules marks the first retrospective of the artist’s work in nearly 20 years, celebrating the depth and scope of his six-decade career. SFMOMA’s presentation emphasizes his iconoclastic approach, his multidisciplinary working processes and frequent collaborations with other artists.

Largely organized chronologically, the exhibition begins with the artist’s wide-ranging early work, from bold blueprint photograms and intimate photographs to his delicate Scatole personali (1952–1953) (boxes filled with found objects). These galleries introduce Rauschenberg’s eagerness to experiment with and break from artistic conventions, his innovative approach to materials and his multi-disciplinary and collaborative nature, all of which were driving forces throughout his career. This early period plays out across three locales: Black Mountain College, a fertile ground for experimentation where Rauschenberg studied with Josef Albers and Hazel Larsen Archer, and undertook his first important collaborations with Susan Weil, Cy Twombly, John Cage and Merce Cunningham; North Africa and Italy, where Rauschenberg traveled with Twombly; and lower Manhattan, where he set up his early studios and worked in close dialogue with Jasper Johns.

Among the many highlights of the exhibition is Automobile Tire Print (1953) in SFMOMA’s collection, made when the artist instructed composer John Cage to drive his Model A Ford through a pool of paint and then across 20 sheets of paper. The layered paper and fabrics in his Black paintings and Red paintings led to the artist’s landmark Combines (1954–64), a body of work that breaks down the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Collection (1954/1955) and Charlene (1954) are presented together for the first time in almost four decades, providing a rare opportunity to see and compare the range of strategies Rauschenberg explored in the Combines’ formative stages. Monogram (1955–59), his landmark work assembled from a taxidermied goat with a painted tire around its body, anchors this presentation.

The exhibition continues by presenting key periods of the artist’s career in depth, including a gallery devoted to transfer drawings and silkscreen paintings. For the Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno (1958–60), Rauschenberg clipped pictures from magazines and newspapers, illustrating Dante’s epic poem with images from contemporary American life. Rauschenberg’s merging of classical themes, art history references, contemporary politics and pop culture culminate in the silkscreen paintings, such as the vibrant Scanning (1963) and Persimmon (1964). Rauschenberg also actively explored technological innovations for his performances and artworks in the early 1960s. Collaborations with Billy Klüver and a team of engineers lead to the inclusion of embedded radios in Oracle (1962–65). For the sound-activated work Mud Muse (1968–71) the artist constructed an enormous vat of vigorously spurting and bubbling mud. Originally conceived for an exhibition in Los Angeles and inspired by a hydrothermal basin in Yellowstone National Park, this presentation marks Mud Muse’s first return to California since 1971.

In 1970, Rauschenberg relocated his primary residence and studio to Captiva Island, Florida, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. These new surroundings prompted the creation of the series Cardboards (1971–72). SFMOMA’s Rosalie / Red Cheek / Temporary Letter / Stock (Cardboard) (1971), one of the earliest of the series, encapsulates this move with a mailing label from Rauschenberg’s New York studio to his Captiva address affixed to its front. Far from isolated in Florida, Rauschenberg constantly welcomed visitors, many of them artists, and continued to travel frequently. A trip to India inspired his striking, lively series Jammers (1975–76); a 1982 visit to China ultimately lead to the launch of ROCI (the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange), an intense seven-year project encompassing travel, art-making and exhibitions in over 10 countries. Rauschenberg’s own photos from this period of travel appear in many later works including SFMOMA’s Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)] (1998).

SFMOMA’s presentation also will be distinguished by a single gallery presentation featuring Hiccups (1978), an extraordinary work comprising 97 pieces of handmade paper, each with transfer images and collaged bits of fabric and ribbon. Individual sheets are connected with zippers, with the intent that they could be reorganized into any order. In 1999, Rauschenberg gave Hiccups to SFMOMA in honor of Phyllis Wattis. This treasured work will be installed as a continuous frieze around the perimeter of a gallery.

The exhibition culminates with Rauschenberg’s late work, including his series Gluts (1986–94), assemblages of scrap-metal that point to the excessive consumption of American society, yet also incorporate humor. The artist’s metal paintings of the 1990s, such as Holiday Ruse (Night Shade) (1991), feature subtly layered images silkscreened onto sheets of aluminum and bronze with tarnishing agents. The color transfer paintings of the 1990s and 2000s employ photographs printed with environmentally-friendly inks via cutting-edge digital printers and image-editing software, a testament to the artist’s ongoing embrace of emerging technologies and materials.

Education and Public Practice

To accompany the exhibition, SFMOMA will present a range of public programs that explore Rauschenberg’s work. On December 2, 2017, Bay Area educators are invited to visit Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, as a part of the Special Saturdays for Teachers series. The museum will also provide free public tours, grade 9–12 school tours and higher education tours during the run of the exhibition. On February 10, scholars, students and curators will convene for a series of panels and discussions on Rauschenberg’s relationship to the photographic image in the colloquium Rauschenberg and The Agility of Images. In addition, SFMOMA 101, a three-week public course for adults, will be offered on February 1, February 8 and February 15, 2018 ($60 members/$80 general). These sessions will explore his vast and varied work across his career as well as his influence on contemporary artists working today.

Performance at SFMOMA looks to Rauschenberg’s rich collaborations with postmodern dance innovators. On January 11–13, Performance in Progress presents DESIRE LINES: RETROFIT from choreographers and former Merce Cunningham dancers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener. Mitchell and Riener bring a close circle of movement artists to activate museum space and weigh the resonances between dance and visual art. Their performances kick off Limited Edition, a program presented by the museum’s online platform, Open Space. Limited Edition features a season of live work at the museum and at local institutions CounterPulse, ODC Theater, The Lab and Z Space. Limited Edition also includes an offering from SFMOMA’s Performance All Ages series, providing the opportunity for audiences of all ages to join the artists of BodyCartography Project on March 17–18 for drop-in participatory movement pieces that connect to Rauschenberg’s performances.

Select programs in conjunction with Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules are made possible through a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

May 29, 2017

 A Quake in Paradise (Labyrinth)

Timelapse video of the installation of A Quake in Paradise (Labyrinth) at MASS MoCA

Rauschenberg’s A Quake in Paradise (Labyrinth) will be on view at MASS MoCA from May 28, 2017–May 26, 2018. This site specific work invites viewers to move through — and become a part of — a maze-like installation of panels. This will be the first time the work is on view in over a decade. It is shown in tandem with The Lurid Attack of the Monsters from the Postal News Aug 1875, a work from the Kabal American Zephyr series, which was inspired by the macabre work of nineteenth-century Japanese woodblock printmaker Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Mar 20, 2017

In summer 2017, the Archives will launch a Rauschenberg research travel fund, a new opportunity that will provide partial support for costs related to travel and living expenses that scholars may incur in order to do research at the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives.


The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will provide one-time project-based support to scholars, academics, artists, and other researchers who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials onsite at the Foundation. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • reside 50 miles or more away from the Foundation;
  • not have received a grant or other funding from the Foundation in the past 3 years;
  • be at the graduate level and above.

The application will be open to U.S.-based and international individuals. Please note, priority will be given to independent researchers or those affiliated with institutions with limited resources.


The Rauschenberg research travel fund will provide partial support for research costs and can range from $200 - $2,000, depending on travel distance. Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Travel costs including airfare and local transit
  • Living expenses while researching including hotel and meals


Applications will open in summer 2017. Interested individuals can email to request to be notified when application is available.

Mar 19, 2017

Photo: Courtesy Williams College Museum of Art

Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography brings together 26 original works of art with 56 archival objects primarily on loan from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and centers on the artist’s monumental print, Autobiography, 1968. The exhibition will be on view at WCMA from March 17 through August 20, 2017.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has been processing the artist’s archives over the last two years and recently made them fully accessible to scholars. The  Foundation’s “Shuffle” program facilitates collaborations with college and university museums, in which works from the Foundation’s art collection are made available for exhibition and study. The WCMA project is the first ever to mine the archives for an exhibition and a college course. In the Art History/Museum class, Robert Rauschenberg Art, Archives and Exhibitions, developed and led by professor of art C. Ondine Chavoya and curator of contemporary art Lisa Dorin, Williams students researched the artist’s life, work, and the often blurry lines between the two. The students studied the history and theory of archives and how exhibitions make use of them, and spent two full days in the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives in New York working closely with Francine Snyder, the Foundation’s director of archives and scholarship.

Read more about the exhibition > 

Dec 15, 2016

Calvin Tompkins, The New Yorker

Courtesy BBC Arts

Robert Rauschenberg – Pop Art Pioneer aired on BBC2 on December 10 in a celebration of the work and life of the artist shortly after the Rauschenberg retrospective opened to the public at Tate Modern. 
In the film presenter Alastair Sooke traveled to New York and Captiva, Florida to talk to those closest to Rauschenberg to reveal the boundless curiosity and restless experimentation that kept him engaged over the course of his six-decade career. 
(For our UK based readers, you can view the full program on the BBC IPlayer)

Dec 1, 2016

Rauschenberg with transfer drawings by Jasper Johns


Robert Rauschenberg presents a holistic and multifaceted overview of the artist’s prolific career. In addition to key examples from Rauschenberg’s iconic “Combines” series, the exhibition showcases the artist’s innovative experiments with media appropriation, technology, and performance, as well as the global impact of his career, particularly through his close partnerships with artists across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Tate Modern’s presentation begins with an examination of Rauschenberg’s early works, which were largely influenced by his formative years at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, a hub of artistic innovation and experimental practice in the 1940’s and early 50’s. During this period, Rauschenberg first experimented with photography and performance, created the monolithic White Paintings (1951), and incorporated found materialsand media images into his solvent transfer drawings.

The retrospective also highlights and explore Rauschenberg’s work in performance, which was at the core of much of his artistic output. His involvement with performance began with his participation, alongside choreographer Merce Cunningham, in composer John Cage’s Theatre Piece #1 at Black Mountain College in 1952. Throughout his career, Rauschenberg not only designed sets, costumes, and lighting for Cunningham and other choreographers such as Trisha Brown and Paul Taylor, but he also performed and choreographed his own works such as Pelican in 1963, and Elgin Tie in 1964.

By 1970, Rauschenberg left New York and established a home and studio on Captiva Island, Florida, which would become his primary residence until his death in 2008. He continued to work until the end of his life, producing historically significant works throughout his mid- to late career, including the Cardboards, 1971-72, Jammers, 1975- 76; Gluts, 1986-94; and Anagrams, 1995–97. Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern culminates with works from these later series, as well as ephemera from the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) – a project in which Rauschenberg traveled to ten countries outside the U.S. to collaborate with local artists in each region. ROCI became Rauschenberg’s primary preoccupation between 1984 and 1991 and was a tangible expression of his belief in art as a catalyst for global dialogue. Mounting an exhibition of his work in each country – often where freedom of speech and artistic expression had been suppressed – Rauschenberg’s aim was to inspire crosscultural exchanges and achieve a mutual understanding through art.


Jul 5, 2016

TAIYA Winners Headshots

From top left, clockwise: Blair Katherine Betik, Qiong (Voyo) Wu, Natalia Gabrielsen, Lauren Blankenship and Mekia “Machine” Denby.

We are pleased today to announce the winners of This Art Is Your Art, an online competition that invited graduate and undergraduate students in the United States to create videos responding to works of art in the White House. The competition was hosted by the White House Historical Association, Artsy and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

A panel of eight renowned artists, educators, museum professionals and public figures judged the videos created by the students. The winners were selected on the basis of the creativity, relevancy and production value of their projects:

  • Blair Katherine Betik, Southern Methodist University, Class of 2018, from Ennis, TX for her video on Albert Bierstadt’s Rocky Mountain Landscape (1870)
  • Lauren Blankenship, Portland State University, Class of 2017, from Portland, OR for her video on Georgia O’Keeffe’s Mountain at Bear Lake – Taos (1930)
  • Mekia “Machine” Denby, Columbia University, Class of 2018, from New York, NY for her video on Alma Thomas’ Resurrection (1966)
  • Natalia Gabrielsen, University of Arizona Graduate School, Class of 2017, from Tucson, AZ for her video on O’Keeffe’s painting
  • Qiong “Voyo” Wu, Sotheby’s Graduate School, Class of 2017, from New York, NY for her video on Robert Rauschenberg’s Early Bloomer [Anagram (A Pun)] (1998)

The winning videos will be on display at the White House Visitor Center, in a special installation organized by the Rauschenberg Foundation and the White House Historical Association, from July 15 to September 30, 2016.

Watch the winning videos for This Art is Your Art >

Read the full story >



May 10, 2016

The White House Historical Association, Artsy, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Launch “This Art is Your Art” National Student Competition

We are excited to announce that today the White House Historical Association, Artsy, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation launched This Art is Your Art, an online competition that invites graduate and undergraduate university students in the United States to engage with the artwork in the White House.

The competition encourages students to select a particular work of art in the White House collection from a gallery on Artsy’s website, and submit a three-minute video that focuses on the historical and artistic context of the work. Five winners will be selected by a jury comprised of eight renowned artists, educators, museum professionals, and public figures:

  • Caroline Baumann, Executive Director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum;
  • Melissa Chiu, Executive Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden;
  • JiaJia Fei, Director of Digital, Jewish Museum;
  • Agnes Gund, Chairman of the Board of MoMA PS1 and President Emerita of MoMA;
  • William Kloss, Art historian and author of “Art in the White House”;
  • Jan Krawitz, Professor of Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University;
  • Earl A. Powell III, Director of the National Gallery of Art;
  • and Kehinde Wiley, artist.

The winners will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. this summer where their videos will be shown at a special ceremony at the White House Historical Association. The deadline to submit is June 8, 2016.

This is the second collaboration between the Rauschenberg Foundation and Artsy, following the 2014 Emerging Curator Competition, to focus on the importance of actively engaging with and responding to works of art, and providing access to digital resources to students.

Read the full press release >

Visit the competition website > 

Apr 20, 2016

Robert Rauschenberg in front of beach house

Rauschenberg in front of the Fish House with Global Chute (Kabal American Zephyr) (1982), Captiva, Florida, circa 1982. Photo: Terry Van Brunt

Throughout his career, Robert Rauschenberg used his platform as an artist to increase knowledge about global issues and to raise money for many causes and organizations.

The safekeeping of the environment and the notion of individual responsibility for the welfare of life on earth was one of Rauschenberg’s key causes. This commitment to the environment that extended throughout various aspects of his work and life took focus in 1970 when he purchased his first tract of land on Captiva Island. Rauschenberg viewed his residence in Captiva as dependent on the natural environment of the island. He therefore focused on the maintenance of this land as a natural habitat throughout his lifetime. Images from the surrounding landscape and wildlife, as well as of issues that affected the island such as water conservation, served as regular inspiration for his work. Over the course of forty years, he bought historic cottages and adjacent land to preserve and protect it from encroaching commercial development, and undertook a significant restoration of the landscape after Hurricane Charley in 2004.

Today the property remains intact as a pristine natural environment, hosting more than seventy artists each year for month-long residencies in Rauschenberg’s former home and studio.

Truce (Scenario), 2003

Truce (Scenario), 2003


Feb 29, 2016

Fair Use Newspost

Rauschenberg at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 1969. Photo: Sidney B. Felsen © 1969; Rauschenberg's Collection, 1954.

We are pleased to announce a new Fair Use policy- the first to be adopted by an artist-endowed foundation–that will make images of Rauschenberg's artwork more accessible to museums, scholars, artists, and the public.

This new policy comes at an important moment for image rights, as more institutions are providing free and open access to their archives and digitized collections. Prior to 2015, the Rauschenberg Foundation, like many artist foundations and estates, safeguarded the use of images through licensing agents. Over time, the Foundation observed that the fear of violating copyright restrictions resulted in two unique challenges. First, due to the prohibitive costs associated with rights and licensing, many scholars and professors limit themselves to using freely available images in their lectures, presentations, and publications, which in turn can alter how art history itself is written and taught. Additionally, image licensing hinders the conversion of print publications to digital formats, due to the costs of obtaining rights for a second time.

Furthermore, given the costs and complexities around using images online and on social media, museums and other institutions are limited in the types of images they can post to their channels. As a result, individual users, not institutions, generate many images of artworks that exist in the digital realm. A lack of “official” images with correct captions and attributions leads to the perpetuation of incorrect information online and on social media.

In order to address these challenges and the changing landscape of image rights, the Foundation issued pilot licenses to a select group of museums in 2015, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the Tate Modern.

Inspired by the increased use of Rauschenberg artwork images as a result of this pilot license to museums, the Rauschenberg Foundation has decided to expand its Fair Use policy to the public at large.

Read the full Fair Use policy >

Read more in The New York Times >

Feb 9, 2016

Robert with 1/4 Mile

Rauschenberg working on The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98) in his Laika Lane studio, Captiva, Florida, ca. 1983. Photo: Attributed to Terry Van Brunt

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is delighted to announce that the artist's The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98) will be shown at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing from June 12–August 21, 2016. Comprised of approximately 190 parts and stretching over 1,500 feet, this work has been described as a self-contained retrospective, referring to significant developments throughout Rauschenberg's career.

While it will be the first time this monumental artwork has been seen in Asia, it is thirty years since Rauschenberg’s ROCI CHINA was presented at the National Art Gallery, Beijing. The artist first conceived of the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) while collaborating with master papermakers in Jingxian in 1982. A multi-year international project, ROCI aimed to foster cross-cultural understanding through art.

Read Press Release >

Read more in The Art Newspaper >

Dec 22, 2015

Neshat Prints

Shirin Neshat, Ghada and Sayed, 2013. Images courtesy Gladstone Gallery

With support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Shirin Neshat created a series of portraits titled Our House is On Firea project that explored Egypt in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The foundation is donating two limited edition prints from this series to thirty-three colleges and universities around the world.

​“Neshat's project embodies Rauschenberg’s own belief that art could change the dialogue for challenging international issues,” said Christy MacLear, executive director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. “Our goal with this donation is to encourage dialogue about the portraits’ artistic, cultural, and political value while also creating an opportunity for academic departments to collaborate with school museums and galleries.”

The selected institutions submitted proposals on how they would incorporate the portraits into their curriculum in a way that was committed to using them to foster challenging conversations on a range of issues. A few innovative ideas include displaying the prints in Columbia Law School and using them as case studies for human rights issues, and hosting a panel discussion on Christianity, Islam, and Judaism at University of Pennsylvania.

See the full list of recipients >

Dec 18, 2015

Glimcher OH News Post

The Anagram Series: Rauschenberg at Work, 2015. Video: color, 4 minutes 32 seconds. Courtesy Pace Gallery, New York. Original film footage shot by Film Odyssey, Inc., for the PBS documentary Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius. Courtesy Film Odyssey, Inc. All rights reserved. Licensed by Pace 2015.

The foundation is pleased to announce that Robert Rauschenberg: Anagrams, Arcadian Retreats, Anagrams (A Pun) will remain on view at Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, New York, until January 16, 2016. The exhibition showcases three powerful late series, begun in the mid-1990s, where Rauschenberg made digital color transfers from his own photographs, often taken during his extensive world travels.

The Anagrams series (1995-7) first premiered at Pace in 1996, in an exhibition organized by the gallery’s founder, Arne Glimcher. Glimcher’s reminiscences of Rauschenberg and the Anagrams exhibition at Pace are recorded in his newly released Oral History interview, conducted for the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History project in partnership with the Columbia Center for Oral History Research. 

The foundation is also delighted to share two short films of Rauschenberg created from outtakes of a film directed by Karen Thomas, Inventive Genius (1999). Shown for the first time at Pace Gallery with the current exhibition, Rauschenberg at Work documents the artist creating transfer works, while Rauschenberg at Pace records the artist and Glimcher discussing the installation of the original Anagrams exhibition in 1996. Footage courtesy of Film Odyssey, Inc. 

Oct 22, 2015

Rauschenberg Painting in All White

Rauschenberg working on Lilac Role [Anagram (A Pun)] (1997), Captiva Drive studio, Florida, 1997. Photo: George Holzer, courtesy of Saff Tech Arts

On what would have been Robert Rauschenberg's 90th Birthday, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is pleased to announce an exhibition of important late work by the artist opening at Pace Gallery. A public reception will be held tonight from 6 to 8 pm at 534 West 25th Street, New York. The exhibition will run from October 23 – December 12, 2015.

Entitled Robert Rauschenberg: Anagrams, Arcadian Retreats, Anagrams (A Pun), the exhibition includes works from three series made during the mid-1990s into the 2000s, where the artist revisited image transfer techniques which he first explored on a smaller scale in the 1950s and 1960s. Using water-soluble inkjet dyes on paper, plaster, and polylaminate surfaces, Rauschenberg made digital color transfers from his photographs. Revealing the artist’s global perspective, the images are often derived from the photographs he took during his extensive international travels. Imagery for the Arcadian Retreats is largely derived from photographs he took in Turkey when he attended the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in 1996. With images transferred manually using a burnishing implement, the artist’s hand is revealed, resulting in painterly and subtly lyrical works.

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue with a new essay by Jonathan Fineberg. Archival footage of the artist at work during the mid-1990s will be shown at the gallery.

Sep 10, 2015

Rauschenberg Gives a Speech

Rauschenberg and a Tibetan official at the opening ceremony for ROCI TIBET, Revolutionary Exhibition Hall, Lhasa, December 5, 1985. Photo: Thomas Buehler

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Artsy, and Nicole Bray, the 2015 winner of the Robert Rauschenberg Emerging Curator Competition, invite students enrolled at accredited institutions to submit artworks to be considered for inclusion in the inaugural Emerging Curator exhibition. The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar is inspired by the ethos of the original Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI, 1984–91)—to foster understanding and promote peace through art. The exhibition will be held at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland from December 5, 2015 – March 6, 2016 and will complement a related exhibition, Robert Rauschenberg: ROCI Works from the National Gallery, curated by Anke Van Wagenberg. The concurrent exhibition will include iconic works by Rauschenberg taken from the ROCI series, which have been graciously loaned by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

With his ROCI project, Rauschenberg traveled to ten nations around the world—Chile, China, Cuba, East Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Soviet Union, Tibet, and Venezuela. Exploring diverse cultural traditions, new materials, and local artistic practices, Rauschenberg used his art to shine a light on the commonalities and differences of human experience. The original intentions advocated by ROCI are as relevant today as they were in 1984—to share, understand, and celebrate difference. In the words of Rauschenberg, "a one-to-one contact through art contains potent peaceful powers." The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar will explore what a modern day ROCI might look like in today’s social, political, and technological landscape.

For more information and submission instructions, please visit Submissions will be accepted from September 10 through September 24, 2015.

Jun 3, 2015

Mostly About RR

Film still from Mostly About Rauschenberg (1975), an unreleased film originally produced by Michèle Arnaud and Reiner Moritz, and directed by Christine Kozlov, Rauschenberg, and Mayo Thompson.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is in the early stage of processing our rich collection of archival materials. After learning about this exciting project, T: The New York Times Style Magazine visited the foundation to preview this comprehensive body of previously unexplored material on Rauschenberg’s life and career. View an exclusive interactive story on some of the treasures we have uncovered thus far at Look for it in print in the June 12 issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine

To learn more about our archival collection and obtaining access to it, please visit the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Collections page.

Apr 22, 2015

Earth Day Poster 1970

Earth Day, 1970

The protection of the planet has been central to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s mission since its founding by the artist in 1990. In 1991, through the sale of an edition and poster designed by Rauschenberg, the foundation raised  funds and greater awareness for the Earth Pledge that was announced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that same year. The foundation continues to uphold that original pledge “to make the earth a secure and hospitable home for present and future generations.”

For the next thirty days, in celebration of the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will highlight some of the grants and programs that extend the artist’s legacy as a champion of the environment. You can join the conversation by following the foundation on Twitter and Facebook. News items include:

Today the foundation is announcing $250,000 in grants to agencies working in Southwest Florida, including a grant to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Fund, which focuses much of its work on the preservation of Florida’s fragile wetlands and other ecosystems. All of the awardees were identified through a partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to advance social innovation in the region. Southwest Florida is an area where Rauschenberg lived and worked for forty years and a place of ongoing investment for the foundation. To learn more about this partnership and the $250,000 in grants, you can read more here.

You can also read the newly posted Art in Context to learn more about Rauschenberg’s commitment to the environment in his art and activities. Among the highlighted artworks is Rauschenberg’s Earth Day poster, created for the first annual Earth Day on April 22, 1970, to benefit the American Environment Foundation in Washington, D.C. The poster is the first of many editioned works that the artist produced to support the social and political causes most important to him.

This Monday, April 27, 2015, will mark the beginning of a month-long gathering of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida. Entitled Rising Waters Confab, the meeting aims to spark new thinking and to influence civic will toward finding and spreading solutions for the rising waters of climate change. Participants will contribute to a blog that captures key themes and ideas.

Over the next month, the foundation will share more highlights of its work to support a healthy, sustainable planet, including announcing the inaugural grantees of its Climate Change Solutions Fund, a new initiative that spurs the use of cultural and civic engagement to advance solutions to global warming.  

Feb 12, 2015

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Executive Director Christy MacLear joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on Tuesday, February 10, to celebrate the installation of Rauschenberg’s Early Bloomer [Anagram (A Pun)]1998. Also included in the White House Dining Room are works by artists Anni Albers, Josef Albers, and Alma Thomas. The installation is now open to the public

This work, part of a series Rauschenberg made using digital color transfers, was donated in honor of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2011. It was first unveiled during the Celebration of American Art presentation, hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House on June 5, 2013. Early Bloomer [Anagram (A Pun)] is one of the first works of contemporary art to be displayed in the public rooms of the White House. 

Also on Tuesday, former Vice President Walter Mondale attended the Open Studio at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida. During his visit to the residency, Mondale enjoyed presentations by vocalist Somi, musician Hervé Samb, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and actor Cheryl Lynn Bruce, and he viewed works by visual artists Manal AlDowayan, Kim Faler, Ann Hamilton, Brad Kahlhamer, Mario Martinez, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Dec 8, 2014

Caryatid Cavalcade I / ROCI CHILE, 1985

Caryatid Cavalcade I / ROCI CHILE, 1985

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, in partnership with Artsy is pleased to announce that Nicole Bray, a student at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, has won the inaugural Robert Rauschenberg Emerging Curator Competition. With support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Bray will receive a fellowship to mount a Rauschenberg exhibition in New York.

Bray’s winning proposal was inspired by the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange (ROCI) project, which she argues remains as relevant today as when Rauschenberg first conceived of it in 1984. Click here to learn more about ROCI.

Read full press release

Nov 25, 2014

Rauschenberg Desk

Photo: © The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Courtesy Art + Commerce

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Francine Snyder as the Foundation’s first Senior Archivist. This inaugural position builds upon the newly launched website to make Rauschenberg's archives accessible to students, scholars, and the public. Snyder will be integral in providing materials for the future Rauschenberg catalogue raisonné. In addition, she will be responsible for establishing educational partnerships globally, identifying future grants for archival scholarship, and collaborating with other artists’ archives. Previously, Snyder was the Director of the Library and Archives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Earlier this year, she was selected for the 2014 Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) and has written widely on archives and technology.

Nov 11, 2014

Rauschenberg and Friend in Gallery

Photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni

VOTE NOW for your favorite exhibition proposal! Follow @Artsy on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ and like/share/comment on posts to vote. You can also share your favorite proposal on social media with #EmergingCurator.

Finalists' posts are now featured on

The Finalists

Paisid Aramphongphan, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Nicole Bray, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York
Grant Johnson, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Nefertari Juarez Aguilar, Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm, Mexico City

In collaboration with curators from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the winner will have the opportunity to curate an exhibition at their campus art gallery with artworks from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation collection. The panel of judges includes John Elderfield, Branden W. Joseph, Shirin Neshat, Christopher Rauschenberg, and Sarah Roberts, who determined the four finalists. The winner is chosen by you. Voting ends November 18, 2014 11:59 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time). 

Artsy received 138 thought-provoking exhibition proposals from four continents, 22 countries, and 78 cities, such as Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, and more. It was a tough decision for the judges to choose the finalists, and we would like to recognize seven exceptional proposals as Honorable Mentions. Congratulations to all of the students for participating!

Honorable Mentions 

Minnie Atairu (George Washington University, Washington, D.C.)
Caroline Barnett (New York University, Institute of Fine Arts)
Ashley Duhrkoop (Columbia University, New York)
Megan Govin (Pratt Institute, New York)
Manuela Reyes (School of Visual Arts, New York)
Oliver Shultz (Stanford University, California)
Nina Wexelblatt (Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts)

Oct 23, 2014

Aqua Fanfare (Urban Bourbon), 1993, acrylic on copper and mirrored aluminum, 72 13/16 x 48 13/16 inches (184.9 x 124 cm). 

456 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
November 1–December 13, 2014

I like seeing people using materials that one’s not accustomed to seeing in art. That has a particular value. New materials have fresh associations, physical properties and qualities that have built into them the possibility of forcing you or helping you do something else.
—Robert Rauschenberg

In collaboration with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to announce an exhibition of Robert Rauschenberg’s works on metal of the 1980s and 1990s. This will be the first major presentation of his work on the West Coast since MOCA’s acclaimed traveling exhibition of the Combines in 2006.

Rauschenberg’s protean outlook ushered in a new era of postwar American art in the wake of Abstract Expressionism with a free and experimental approach that drew inspiration from conceptual, materialist, and gestural precedents. His inventive use of discarded materials and appropriated images eviscerated distinctions between medium and genre, abstraction and representation, while his “flatbed picture plane,” which absorbed found objects into the realm of paintings, forever changed the relationship between artwork and viewer.

“Works on Metal” traces Rauschenberg’s obsession, beginning in the mid-1980s, with the potential of metal. Exchanging canvas for flat sheets of metal mounted directly to the wall, he worked in consequent series using aluminum, brass, copper, and bronze, harnessing the natural hues and reflections of each. He then juxtaposed their intrinsic qualities with secondary processes, from the application of acrylic and enamel paints and silkscreened photographic images to his fine-tuning of chemical reactions and manipulation of industrial scrap and refuse.

For his prescient project of global diplomacy known as ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange, 1984–91), Rauschenberg worked and exhibited in eleven countries including Chile and Cuba, silkscreening photographic images taken during his extensive travels onto huge sheets of copper and stainless steel. Drawing upon this bountiful image bank, his ongoing investigation of painting on metal would prove to be one of the most inventive periods of his career, taking on ever new inflections as he traveled to Mexico, Germany, Tibet, the former U.S.S.R., Venezuela, and other locations. In the Urban Bourbon series (1988–96), reflective depths overlap with fragmented photography and gestural brushwork; in the Borealis paintings (1988–92), chemicals and ammonium salts were applied to brass, copper, and bronze sheets to achieve corrosive effects; in the steely Night Shades (1991), acids were used to rapidly tarnish the mirrored and brushed aluminum surfaces.

Parallel to his works on flat metal surfaces, Rauschenberg collected discarded automotive parts, gas station signs, and other scrap materials, which he manipulated into both freestanding and wall-mounted sculptures; the so-called Gluts (1986–89/1991–94) echoed the Combines in their reconfiguration of found objects. Rauschenberg referred to the Gluts, which he continued to produce after the seven-year ROCI. tour, as “souvenirs without nostalgia;” he aimed to create art that was “as fresh, strange and unpredictable as what’s going on around you.” In the conceptual and material breadth of the metal works, Rauschenberg fulfilled the partial relinquishing of authorship, allowing art to integrate with the mess of life.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Joachim Pissarro.

Oct 22, 2014

Robert Rauschenberg white paper artwork

Untitled (Tablet Series), 1974, Embossed paper, and cardboard, 31 1/4 x 22 3/8 inches (79.4 x 56.8 cm)

18 E 77th Street
New York 
October 9–December 20, 2014

Castelli Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Rauschenberg. A Visual Lexicon. The exhibition includes work that spans the entire career of the artist, dating from 1959 to 2008 and realized in a variety of media. When viewed individually the works appear to be very different from each other; however, in reality they share a visual language unique to the work of Robert Rauschenberg. 

Rauschenberg adopted, and gradually allowed to reappear, many photographic sources for his work; Rosalind Krauss in 1997 brilliantly described these visual sources as Rauschenberg’s “perpetual inventory.” Just as important to the repetition and arrangement of the silk-screened and collaged imagery is the playful juxtaposition of their placement, whether set one next to the other or, occasionally, one above the other. The combined effort of selecting images and juxtaposing and layering them reveals the artist’s perception of the work, and a single artwork may become like a diary of a day in the life of the artist.

Included in the exhibition is Untitled, a combine of a pocket watch, chain, and tin can created circa 1959, whose components are retranslated in other works throughout the show. Solvent transfers and collages on cloth and paper from the 1970s, including work from the Hoarfrost Series, offer a wider glimpse into the artist’s personal relationship to his materials and his interest in the temporality of combined images. The most physically imposing work in the show, at more than seven feet tall and 21 feet wide, Arcadian Survey (Spread), 1977, continues the familiar thread of visual repetition but introduces mirrored panels, an element that further contributes to the idea of duplicating and possibly multiplying the same image again and again. The white, collaged fabric panel in this multidimensional work echoes three works created as part of the Tablet Series in 1974, in which pieces of cardboard are sandwiched between layers of white paper in such a way that we may only perceive them through the changing textures of the surface. The most recent work in the exhibition is Untitled, 2008, a patinated and painted bronze sculpture of a ruler balanced upon a ball of twine. The juxtaposition of the materials of this work reinforces the artist’s interest in creating a conflict through which something ethereal may emerge.

Sep 22, 2014

Rauschenberg and Walter Hopps 1976

Rauschenberg and Walter Hopps discussing *Minutiae*(1954) during the installation of the retrospective exhibition *Robert Rauschenberg*, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1976.  Photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni

The foundation, in partnership with Artsy, is hosting a competition for undergraduate and graduate students worldwide.  Win the opportunity to mount a Rauschenberg exhibition at your campus.

The competition intends to foster a new generation of curators by providing online access to digital resources and collections, as well as to explore new curatorial perspectives, scholarship, and dialogues on art. The competition launches today, September 22, 2014, and closes October 20, 2014. Please visit for full guidelines to participate, and visit the Artist section of our website to begin your research and explore Rauschenberg's life and work in depth. 

Sep 6, 2014

Rauschenberg Chairs and Steps Sculpture

The Ancient Incident (Kabal American Zephyr), 1981

Shuffle makes available selections from the Rauschenberg Foundation art collection for exhibition in art institutions throughout the United States. Joining philanthropic initiative with the goal of nurturing the artist’s legacy, Shuffle loans are underwritten by the Foundation. Projects can range from a focused presentation of a single artwork to exhibitions of numerous works. Committed to audience development and new scholarship, the program seeks to connect with university and regional museums. Shuffle encourages dialogue with partnering institutions’ collections.

The program draws its name from Rauschenberg’s Synapsis Shuffle (1999), a painting comprised of fifty-two parts, as in a deck of cards. The work is realized when collaborators choose and assemble at least three and no more than seven panels, generating myriad variations. Every participant who arranges and re-arranges the parts is credited as a composer of the work. Past players include musician David Byrne, artist Chuck Close, choreographer Merce Cunningham, curator Walter Hopps, and gallerist Ileana Sonnabend.

In the spirit of its namesake, the program invites collaboration with partnering institutions to start conversations, continue arguments, and foster new perspectives. The proposition: take Rauschenberg’s works as inspiration, counterpoint, or at their most basic, as objects of contemplation and deep looking. Shuffle is both a tribute to the artist’s life and oeuvre as well as a venture to cultivate his public.

Please visit the newly launched website:

Featuring the current exhibition, Rauschenberg: Collecting & Connecting, on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University through January 11, 2015:

Rauschenberg: Collecting & Connecting presents a dialogue between selections from the Nasher Museum's collection and over thirty artworks on loan from the Rauschenberg Foundation.

Jul 7, 2014

Rauschenberg and Walter Hopps 1976

Rauschenberg and curator Walter Hopps, installing Minutiae (1954) for the retrospective exhibition, Robert Rauschenberg, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1976. Photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni,

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has partnered with Artsy to create an Emerging Curator Competition for graduate and undergraduate students world-wide.  Our objectives are to increase access to art and archival resources digitally; to create a program to benefit aspiring curators and their institutions; and to foster new scholarship. In keeping with that vision, the competition encourages a new generation of curators to use digital tools to bring new views and ideas to global audiences.  

The jury for the Rauschenberg Emerging Curator Competition is comprised of five renowned artists, curators, and scholars—John Elderfield, Branden Joseph, Shirin Neshat, Christopher Rauschenberg, and Sarah Roberts—who will evaluate exhibition proposals that are related to the work of Robert Rauschenberg either presented on its own or juxtaposed with the work of other artists and artworks. Participants will submit exhibition proposals on, choosing from images selected by the Rauschenberg Foundation and from the 40,000 images provided by Artsy’s 230 museum and institutional partners, including the British Museum, Fondation Beyeler, J. Paul Getty Trust, Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and others. In-depth research and archival materials will be accessible via the new Rauschenberg Foundation website and the SFMOMA Rauschenberg Research Project.  

In the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg, the jury seeks proposals that make unexpected connections and ponder new lines of questioning. In a career that spanned more than fifty years, Rauschenberg continually pushed the boundaries by using a multidisciplinary approach and defying expectation. His commitment to innovation and his fearless approach to art are characteristics that the jury will evaluate in the online exhibition proposals.

The judges will select three finalists whose proposals will be featured on both the and the Rauschenberg Foundation website and the winner will be selected by the general public through online voting. The winner will be awarded: 1) a letter of award signed by the panel of judges; 2) the winning curatorial proposal will be designed as an online exhibition on; and 3) a curatorial fellowship and honorarium enabling the winner to select works from the Rauschenberg Foundation Shuffle artwork lending library to curate an exhibition at the winner’s academic institution.

Central to the mission of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is fostering the legacy of the artist’s work and his long-term commitment to art education by providing broad public access to art. The foundation strives to encourage students and aspiring curators to actively engage with the work of Rauschenberg, his collaborators, and the artists who have been inspired by him. With the Robert Rauschenberg Emerging Curator Competition, the foundation seeks to nurture Rauschenberg scholarship and to expand the study of art through current digital means. When the new Rauschenberg Foundation website launches in late summer, students, aspiring curators, and the general public will have unprecedented access and information on Rauschenberg’s artwork and archives.

Artsy ( is a free online resource for learning about and collecting art, and it will host the competition as part of its ongoing mission to increase education and public access to art from around the world.