Robert Rauschenberg (October Files) by Branden W. Joseph

By Branden W. Joseph

From the instant paintings historian Leo Steinberg championed his paintings in competition to Clement Greenberg?s inflexible formalism, Robert Rauschenberg has performed a pivotal position within the improvement and knowing of postmodern artwork. difficult approximately the entire winning assumptions in regards to the visible arts of his time, he pioneered the postwar revival of university, images, silkscreen, expertise, and performance.This e-book specializes in Rauschenberg?s paintings throughout the serious interval of the Fifties and Sixties. It opens with a newly prefaced model of Leo Steinberg?s "Reflections at the nation of Criticism," the 1st released model of his recognized 1972 essay, "Other Criteria," which is still the only most vital textual content on Rauschenberg. Rosalind Krauss?s "Rauschenberg and the Materialized picture" builds on Steinberg?s essay, arguing that Rauschenberg?s paintings represents a decisive shift in modern artwork. Douglas Crimp?s "On the Museum?s Ruins" examines Rauschenberg?s silkscreens within the context of the fashionable museum. Helen Molesworth?s "Before mattress" makes use of psychoanalytic and fiscal buildings to ascertain the artist?s Black work of the early Nineteen Fifties. A moment essay through Krauss, "Perpetual Inventory," revisits either her and Steinberg?s articles of approximately twenty-five years previous. eventually, Branden Joseph?s "A Duplication Containing Duplications" perspectives Rauschenberg?s silkscreens in relation to the artist?s pursuits in expertise, relatively tv.

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To cope with his symbolic program, the available types of pictorial surface seemed inadequate; they were too exclusive and too homogeneous. Rauschenberg found that his imagery needed bedrock as hard and tolerant as a workbench. If some collage element, such as a pasted-down photograph, threatened to evoke a topical illusion of depth, the surface was casually stained or smeared with paint to recall its irreducible flatness. The “integrity of the picture plane”—once the accomplishment of good design—was to become that which is given.

But in Rauschenberg’s career, Bed is a more or less isolated instance. In the face of the ascendancy of singleimage art, Rauschenberg ran his own work, no matter what the medium, whether painting, printmaking, sculpture, or performance, through the channel of collage. It was, as we shall see, a form of collage that was largely reinvented, such that in Rauschenberg’s hands the meaning and function of the collage elements bore little relation to their earlier use in the work of Schwitters or the Cubists.

Is he a human being at all—or a function, a specialized function or instrumentality, such as the one to which Rauschenberg’s “Chairs” (titled Soundings) (1968) reduced the human agent. (A room-size transparent screen whose illumination was electronically activated by sound;the visibility of the chairs which constituted the image depending on the noises made by the spectator— his footsteps when entering, his coughing or speaking voice. ) I suspect that all works of art or stylistic cycles are definable by their built-in idea of the spectator.

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