Selected by Ray Waterhouse

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG, RUSH 17 (from the Cloister Series), executed in 1980


We are pleased to offer this exceptional Rauschenberg, one of the most influential Post-War American artists due to his radical blending of materials and methods. He was a crucial figure in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements. 


Rush 17, 1980, is a preeminent example of Robert Rauschenberg’s important series of solvent transfer drawings, from the Cloister series executed between the years 1980-1981. As was written of an earlier work in the series: “…. a set of carefully selected photographs from disparate sources are appropriated as cultural signifiers and tamed …. creating a composition that is simultaneously impassioned yet refined.” A number of works from the Cloister series were included in MoMA’s 2017 retrospective. 


Rauschenberg first explored image transfer techniques when visiting Cuba in 1952. It was not until 1958, however that the artist committed to the solvent transfer method. Garnering different outcomes depending on the ink type of the original painted source, Rauschenberg drew found images onto the surface of his own work by soaking the printed material in turpentine, placing it against a paper sheet and applying pressure across surface using a blunt object, leaving behind ghostly imprints. Growing in tandem with his other pioneering genre, the Combine, Rauschenberg juxtaposed disparate visual references, forging enigmatic links to color a picture of everyday American culture.


ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG (American 1925-2008)

RUSH 17 (from the Cloister Series)

Executed in 1980

Solvent transfer on paper and fabric on panel

98 x 74 in/ 249 x 188 cm

July 28, 2020