Focus Gallery: Robert Rauschenberg

Presented by Miami Art Museum

Robert Rauschenberg Untitled, 1986 Acrylic on copper 79 x 39-1/2 inches Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of James Rosenquist in memory of Sheila Natasha Simrod Friedman Art © Estate of Robert Rauschenberg Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Miami Art Museum will present a new exhibition in the Focus Gallery section of its Permanent Collection installation, dedicated to works by the late Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg is celebrated as one of the first artists to incorporate mass media imagery into his artwork. Focus Gallery: Robert Rauschenberg, open November 19, 2010 through April 10, 2011, looks at various techniques the artist used over the course of his career to transfer images from their source medium into his artworks.

“The exhibition will underscore the creative ingenuity that characterized Rauschenberg’s career for over fifty years—the last thirty-five of which he spent based in Florida,” said Peter Boswell, MAM assistant director for programs/senior curator. “It will emphasize his seminal role in understanding the importance of the mass media to modern culture.”

The exhibition will feature a key work from MAM’s collection — Untitled, 1986 from his Copper Series — along with several works lent by the Estate of Robert Rauschenberg to examine how Rauschenberg employed different techniques at different times in his career to achieve stunningly diverse effects. Included among the loans will be a rarely seen series of solvent transfer drawings from 1965; a Hoarfrost work from 1974, made from images imprinted on thin, translucent fabric; and one of the artist’s late dye-transfer works on polylaminate, in which Rauschenberg employed images he himself had taken.

Rauschenberg began in the 1950s by collaging actual newspaper and magazine pages, postcards and book illustrations into his famous “combine” paintings, which also included a variety of found objects ranging from clothing items to stuffed animals. But as early as 1959 he began transferring images from their source medium—the printed page, for example—onto the surfaces of his artworks instead of collaging them. This switched the emphasis from image as object to image as transmitted information. Over the course of his career, he used lighter fluid, solvent, lithography, silkscreen, and water to transfer images from the media onto paper, canvas, fabric, metal and polylaminate, creating unique hybrid works of art that combine elements of drawing, printing and painting.

Focus Gallery: Robert Rauschenberg is located within BETWEEN HERE AND THERE: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection, the Museum’s Permanent Collection installation. Changing every four to six months, the Focus Gallery presents mini-exhibitions of artists or themes considered cornerstones of MAM’s collection and collecting goals.

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