Exhibition

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.

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North Carolina and Italy: Rauschenberg’s Photographs, 1949–52

Black and White (with Red): Variations on the Monochrome

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

White Painting [seven panel]
1

CAT. 58
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
White Painting [seven panel], 1951
Oil on canvas
72 x 125 inches (182.9 x 317.5 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Untitled (Hoarfrost)
2

CAT. 77
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Untitled (Hoarfrost), 1975
Solvent transfer on fabric, and fabric collage with cardboard
83 x 49 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches (210.8 x 125.1 x 16.5 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

About Beauty from the series Alphabet for the Blind
3

CAT. 2
Yuri Albert(b. 1959)
About Beauty from the series Alphabet for the Blind, 1988–89
Paint on Masonite
48 x 79 3/4 inches (121.9 x 202.6 cm)
Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Gift of 17 Contemporary Russian Artists, 1995.16.1
© Yuri Albert. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Untitled [matte black triptych]
4

CAT. 56
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Untitled [matte black triptych], ca. 1951
Oil on canvas
72 x 108 inches (182.9 x 274.3 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Marble Chair
5

CAT. 1
Ai Weiwei(b. 1957)
Marble Chair, 2008
Marble
47 1/4 x 22 x 18 1/8 inches (120 x 56 x 46 cm)
Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Museum purchase with funds provided by the estate of Wallace Fowlie, 2011.15.1
© Ai Weiwei. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Stalin with Hitler’s Remains from the series Anarchistic Synthesism
6

CAT. 40
Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid(b. 1943 and b. 1945)
Stalin with Hitler’s Remains from the series Anarchistic Synthesism, 1985–86
Oil on canvas
84 1/4 x 60 1/4 inches (214 x 153 cm)
Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Museum purchase, 1992.8.1
© Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, New York. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

1. Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting [seven panel], 1951; 2. Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (Hoarfrost), 1975; 3.  Yuri Albert, About Beauty from the series Alphabet for the Blind, 1988–89; 4. Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [matte black triptych], ca. 1951; 5.  Ai Weiwei, Marble Chair, 2008; 6.  Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Stalin with Hitler’s Remains from the series Anarchistic Synthesism, 1985–86

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North Carolina and Italy: Rauschenberg’s Photographs, 1949–52