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.

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

Next Section »
Rock Paper Scissors: Materiality, Process, Society

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

Rauschenberg attended Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina, for the 1948–49 academic year. He began working with the artist Susan Weil on blueprint monoprints in 1949. LIFE magazine featured the artists in its April 9, 1951 issue.

Returning to Black Mountain for the summer session of 1951, he enrolled in photographer Hazel-Frieda Larsen’s class and was exposed to guest lectures by photographers Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and others. That summer and the next, he produced multiple portfolios of photographs. Enraptured with the medium, Rauschenberg expressed his desire to photograph the entire continental United States “foot by foot.” Instead, he photographed the artist and fellow Black Mountain student Cy Twombly and his work, helping Twombly to win a travel fellowship to Europe. The two artists departed in August of 1952, settling in Rome and traveling to Morocco, where Rauschenberg worked for a time. Bringing only a Rolleiflex camera, Rauschenberg continued to experiment with photography while abroad. Photography remained central to his art throughout his career. 


I never stopped being a photographer.
— Robert Rauschenberg

Postcard Self-Portrait, Black Mountain (II)
1

CAT. 63
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Postcard Self-Portrait, Black Mountain (II), 1952
Gelatin silver print
3 1/4 x 5 5/8 inches (8.3 x 14.3 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952
Suite of five gelatin silver prints
15 x 15 inches each (38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2-1

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952 (detail)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2-2

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952 (detail)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2-3

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952 (detail)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2-4

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952 (detail)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V)
2-5

CAT. 60
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952 (detail)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Quiet House—Black Mountain
3

CAT. 55
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Quiet House—Black Mountain, 1949
Gelatin silver print
15 x 15 inches (38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Cy + Relics, Rome
4

CAT. 59
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Cy + Relics, Rome, 1952
Gelatin silver print
15 x 15 inches (38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

Rome Flea Market (III)
5

CAT. 62
Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)
Rome Flea Market (III), 1952
Gelatin silver print
15 x 15 inches (38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York

1. Robert Rauschenberg, Postcard Self-Portrait, Black Mountain (II), 1952; 2. Robert Rauschenberg, Cy + Roman Steps (I, II, III, IV, V), 1952; 3. Robert Rauschenberg, Quiet House—Black Mountain, 1949; 4. Robert Rauschenberg, Cy + Relics, Rome, 1952; 5. Robert Rauschenberg, Rome Flea Market (III), 1952

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

Next Section »
Rock Paper Scissors: Materiality, Process, Society