Rauschenberg: Collecting & Connecting is installed in eight thematic sections: 1. Black and White (with Red): Variations on the Monochrome; 2. North Carolina and Italy: Rauschenberg’s Photographs, 1949–52; 3. Rock Paper Scissors: Materiality, Process, Society; 4. Light, Mirror, and Mirage: Capturing Ephemeral Nature; 5. Auditions in the Carnal House: Picturing Eroticism; 6. Soviet/American Array: Part I, Politics and Friendships; 7. Soviet/American Array: Part II, Cacophony of Cultures; and 8. Bruce Conner One Man Show (with Rauschenberg): A Visual Dialogue.
Descriptive texts are accompanied by a sampling of works from each section. A complete illustrated exhibition checklist and installation photography are also available for viewing.
Following the completion of his black and white monochrome paintings in 1951, Rauschenberg considered how to make monochrome drawings. Deciding that the erasure of his own work did not constitute art, in 1953 he requested a drawing from Willem de Kooning that Rauschenberg then erased, christening the final result “monochrome no-image.”
This section contains works that amplify Rauschenberg’s notion by becoming “monochromes with-image,” or works that incorporate vague figurations, abstractions, different textures, and texts. Such works augment the monochrome in appearance but depart from its emphasis on the visual to include a wide range of subject matter.
My black paintings and my White Paintings are either too full or too empty to be thought—thereby they remain visual experiences. These pictures are not Art.
— Robert Rauschenberg
1. Yuri Albert, About Beauty from the series Alphabet for the Blind, 1988–89; 2. Ai Weiwei, Marble Chair, 2008