Robert Rauschenberg - Spectator

Coverage of our new exhibition in the Spectator in this piece by Martin Gayford:


'Next Rauschenberg found new ways of sticking images into his paintings. In the late Fifties, he discovered that he could create a ghostly replica of magazine illustrations and headlines by damping them with lighter fluid and rubbing from behind. He added touches of watercolour to create works on paper in which stray faces and bodies loom out as if through a soft, grey mist.

Using this medium, he made a delicately translucent cycle on the theme of Dante’s ‘Inferno’. These little pictures conjure up a mid-20th-century Hades, in which, for example, the giants the poet sees in the pit of Malebolge are represented by three Olympic weight-lifters from Sports Illustrated. Those who would like to investigate this aspect of Rauschenberg’s work further are recommended an excellent exhibition containing many more transfer drawings from the Fifties and Sixties at the Offer Waterman gallery, 17 St George St, W1 (until 13 January).

When I visited Rauschenberg, he left the television on all the time while we were talking. The volume was right down, but in the background there was a constant flickering accompaniment of random images. ‘I am always surprised’, he remarked, ‘that in this day and age you don’t have to keep up with everything: you don’t have to look for information, we’re swimming in it.’ This was his true subject. It makes his work of more than half a century ago seem oddly up-to-date now that we have entered the fresh inferno of the internet age.'


Read the full article online here: SPECTATOR



December 1, 2016