ROBERT RAUSCHENBERGAmerican 1925 - 2008

Robert Rauschenberg’s career remains among one of the most varied and unique to emerge from the Post-War American art scene. He played an instrumental role in redefining the trajectory of American art, building on the legacies of European Dadaists including Duchamp and Schwitters. The Hoarfrost series signalled a departure from his original method of image making, forging a new type of artistic practice that captured the ephemeral, the fleeting and the transitory. Untiled 75.090 captures Rauschenberg’s characteristic tendency towards the use of imagery cut from newspapers, advertisements and photographs which are playfully arranged on fabric via solvent transfer. Featured in Preview (Hoarfrost Edition), the car motif on the left of the earlier work is used once again but this time it’s been cut in half and the right half turned 180 degrees, creating a subtle distortion. The use of diaphanous sheets of fabric and the loose hanging of the work allow for delicate shifts in movement. The inclusion of everyday ephemera including paper bags, newspaper cuttings and photographs further reinforces the transience that Rauschenberg sought to explore in the series as well as investigating the nature of the veiled or obscured image.
The series not only represents a variation in Rauschenberg’s technical practice but also reflects his changing circumstances. In 1970 he relocated from the bustling streets of Lower Manhattan to the peaceful seclusion of Captiva Island, instigating a passage in his career that combined those stylistic innovations integral to his work from previous decades with a technique that was altogether freer and more liberated.
Provenance
Acquired from the artist by a
Private Collector in Florida;
James Goodman Gallery, 1988;
Private Collector, Toronto, purchased
through Gallery Moos, NY, 1990, for $132,000.

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERGAmerican 1925 - 2008

Born in 1925 in the refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas, Rauschenberg had little exposure to art during his childhood. Having briefly studied pharmacology at the University of Texas, he enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute before travelling to the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1948, Rauschenberg attended Black Mountain College where he was taught by Josef Albers, a leading exponent of the Bauhaus movement and where he first met Cy Twombly. The following year he studied at the Art Students League of New York. Perhaps most recognised for his Combines which united painting, sculpture and found objects, Rauschenberg became a leading member of the Post-War American avant-garde alongside Jasper Johns who he met in 1953 and later collaborated with. His experimentation with various media, materials and techniques, often bringing them together simultaneously, earned him multiple accolades including the Grand Prize at the 1964 Venice Biennale and major exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Venice, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.