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Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris
Private Collection, USA

Private Collection


Rome, Galleria La Tartaruga, Rauschenberg, 30 May - 1 June 1959

Paris, Galerie Daniel Cordier, Robert Rauschenberg, 27 April - 8 June 1961

New York, Stellan Holm Gallery, Robert Rauschenberg, Transfer Drawings, 1958- 1969, 1 November 2011 to 17 December 2011


Complete Relaxation dates from the the first year of Robert Rauschenberg's intensive involvement with the transfer drawing process. An idyllic sounding title names a work that is much about doubling. This is especially true of the pair of perpendicular figures at the centre, placed on either side of a protective suited diver (or astronaut?). The pair to the right is slightly fainter, as a second use of a source image would be, and they strongly recall the Dante and Virgil stand-ins in the contemporary Dante illustrations, begun the same year. The woman exercising at upper left is also a doubled identical image, stacked vertically and the circular diagram at top centre is excised and doubled at some distance, at the lower left corner, just below a pair of jewels. The circle proves to be part of a diagrammatic land map, labelled ‘Acquire for Addition to Division’. It shows three streets: Dayton and Newtown Lanes, and Main Street. The former two are indeed parallel lanes that intersect with Main Street in East Hampton, Long Island, a popular destination for post-war artists. Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns visited the area the following summer. They were part of a large group photograph by John Gruen that included artists Larry Rivers and Grace Hartigan on nearby Water Mill beach.