Robert Rauschenberg / Erasing the Rules

Robert Rauschenberg / Erasing the RulesImage courtesy of SFMoMA

Robert Rauschenberg / Erasing the Rules
SFMoMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
From November 18, 2017 to 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 sfmoma.org 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 / Erasing the RulesImage courtesy of SFMoMA

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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.

 

Robert Rauschenberg / Erasing the RulesImage courtesy of SFMoMA

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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 (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.

 

Robert Rauschenberg / Erasing the RulesImage courtesy of SFMoMA

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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.

 

more. www.sfmoma.org

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