The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, August 23, 2019

First exhibition to make extensive use of Robert Rauschenberg's archives opens
Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008), Autobiography (detail), 1968. Off-set lithograph, 66 1/4 x 48 3/4 in.Gift of Marion B. Javits, Robert Rauschenberg, and Milton Glaser through the Yale University Art Gallery in honor of Lisa Corrin and Joe Thompson.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- 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 is on view at WCMA from March 17 through August 20, 2017.

Rauschenberg created Autobiography with Broadside Art Inc., founded by arts patron Marion Javits and graphic designer Milton Glaser making billboard printing technology available to artists. Printed in three parts, the work measures nearly 4 ½ by 17 feet and comprises several significant motifs that recur throughout Rauschenberg’s oeuvre.

Included in the exhibition are archival documents directly related to Autobiography such as the original 1968 advertising brochure for the print, and multiple source materials including a childhood photograph of Rauschenberg and his parents, the artist’s horoscope, and photo-reproductions of an x-ray of his body. Video and photographic documentation of Rauschenberg’s performance collaborations—in particular his first performance Pelican, 1963, which is featured in Autobiography—include photographs by Seymour Rosen, Peter Moore, Elizabeth Novick and others.

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.

“This was a unique and exciting opportunity for the museum and the art department to build a course around Robert Rauschenberg and the archives, and to develop a collaborative exhibition that makes visible the students’ scholarship. We are thrilled the Rauschenberg Foundation made the archives and the art collection available for this highly original and experimental project,” said Christina Olsen, Class of 1956 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art.

In the spirit of Rauschenberg’s inherently collaborative practice, the exhibition was a collective effort: the instructors developed the curatorial framework and made checklist selections, and then each student developed groupings and supporting texts based on their individual interests and research findings. Using Autobiography, from WCMA’s collection, as a jumping off-point and making deep use of archival materials and original works of art from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the course investigations culminate in a thematic exploration of the artist’s use of his body, performance and artistic collaborations, love of animals, and fascination with technology.

The exhibition features several photographic self-portraits made while the artist was at Black Mountain College and a series of small-scale blueprints from the early 1950s made in collaboration with his then wife, artist Susan Weil. Booster, 1967, the largest lithograph that had been printed to date, refers to the cutting edge rocket technology being developed at the time as part of the space race and incorporates the same x-ray imagery he used the following year in Autobiography. Revolver II, also 1967, a large-scale kinetic sculpture with 5 rotating screen-printed Plexiglas discs, was made as part of Rauschenberg’s involvement with the collective of artists and engineers, Experiments in Art and Technology, (E.A.T.).

The sculpture inspired his design for the 1983 Talking Heads album, Speaking in Tongues, which is on view alongside archival materials related to his collaboration with the band. Hot Shot, 1983, from WCMA’s collection, reflects Rauschenberg’s sustained interest in technology and space exploration. Selections from Ruminations, 1999, the last print series the artist made, featuring photo reproductions of some of the people considered among the most important in Rauschenberg’s life, including Susan Weil and their son Christopher; composer John Cage, artist Jasper Johns, and dancer Steve Paxton, are on view along with selected archival source materials.

Rauschenberg’s deep involvement with dance and performance in the 1960s and his collaborations with Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Alex and Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, and Billy Klüver and E.A.T. are explored through printed documents, photographs, video footage, and performance notes. Another source of inspiration for Rauschenberg were his pets. For Rauschenberg, animals were not only companions, (he kept a menagerie of beloved pets throughout his life) but also often the subjects of his art, and participants in his performance works: archival photographs and footage attest to the role animals played in his life and work.

“Collaboration was fundamental to Rauschenberg’s artistic practice. One of the ways in which the Foundation carries the artist’s collaborative spirit forward is through its Shuffle program, which provides a new generation of students with unique access to Rauschenberg’s art and archives, as well as an opportunity to collaborate on an exhibition. We are grateful to Ondine and Lisa for creating a class that so successfully supported this initiative, and to the students for their enthusiasm and dedication to the project.” Julia Blaut, curator and director of curatorial affairs for the Rauschenberg Foundation.

Today's News

March 18, 2017

Art world horrified by President Donald Trump's push to end funding

TEFAF's top masterpiece goes to the Rijksmuseum

Saint Louis Art Museum installs recently acquired Théodore Rousseau painting

Rediscovered Rodin masterpiece soon at auction in Paris

White Cube opens exhibition of new and recent works by Fred Tomaselli

First exhibition to make extensive use of Robert Rauschenberg's archives opens

Private and institutional collections are bolstered through sales at TEFAF Maastricht 2017

Artist Charlemagne Palestine creates installation of hundreds of teddy bears at The Jewish Museum

Phillips announces highlights from April Photographs Auction

Compton Verney's 2017 season opens with a major exhibition examining the rural idyll past and present

Longtime Birmingham Museum of Art Director Gail Andrews to retire

Major new exhibition opens exploring the human form within art, fashion and design

Caribbean poet and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott dies

Leading Indian artist visualises the raw reality of refugees and female oppression in spellbinding images

Large oil portrait painting by William McGregor Paxton will be sold at auction

Limited edition 35 cm "So Black" Hermès Alligator Birkin bag highlights Heritage Auctions sale

Jakob Lena Knebl opens exhibition at mumok

Large format works in acrylic on canvas by Sibylle Springer on view at GAK Bremen

Signe Pierce's "Virtual Normality" presented at Galerie Nathalie Halgand

Raquel Maulwurf develops installation 'The Carbon War Room' for the Gemeentemuseum

Dineo Seshee Bopape receives the Future Generation Art Prize 2017

Firstsite opens a major solo exhibition by acclaimed Chinese artist Zhang Enli

Ukrainian Institute of America opens selling exhibition of works by Mykhailo Deyak

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful