Sunday, January 20, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg

Here are some notes about Rauschenberg I made a few months back:

Robert Rauschenberg, b. 1925

I love these works and have no idea why. What was Rauschenberg’s intention in doing them? I'd like to know more. His composition is unusual and distinctive, and his colour too.

I'd like especially to know more about his process because several of these are quite big, as in 6’ x 4’ or bigger. The titles are mysterious but descriptive and might be helpful. But I’m thinking I’ll need a good monograph.

I like the informality, the way big blocks are slightly off the vertical or horizontal, plus the mix of drips, photo-type images, gestural brushmarks, hard and soft edges, and the subtle but exciting colour. All in all some of them are a formal feast for the eye, with no obvious antecedents that come to mind -- = original work. The juxtapositions don’t seem peculiar in the way that surrealist juxtapositions are peculiar. They’re puzzling but give a sense of some sort of link or logic.

His composition leans towards loosely geometrical division of the canvas, sometimes into thirds horizontally. The colour is usually muted with liberal use of chromatic greys. Some are more successful than others. The overall impression in those I like best is seductive and gorgeous.

(Some pictures at Wikipedia --

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