Robert Rauschenberg

Tate Modern
December 1 - April 2

Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume and Leah Dickerman

When this Tate retrospective opens, it will have been nearly two decades since the last such effort: the sprawling megashow mounted by the Solomon R. Guggenheim in 1997. Ushered in by Walter Hopps’s extraordinary exhibition focused on Rauschenberg’s earliest career, at the institution’s downtown branch, the 1990s effected an enduring place for the artist among the greats of the later twentieth century. Subsequent projects, such as the Metropolitan’s exhaustive presentation of the Combines, have ramified the artist’s interpretative exhibition history perhaps more deeply than that of any comparable figure. The bar is thus set high for this joint venture with MoMA, as both a synthesis of accumulated insight and an adumbration of new possibilities for thinking about the work. MoMA will emphasize lesser-known chapters in Rauschenberg’s oeuvre, while the Tate promises a full, if “tightly edited,” account of his entire career trajectory, with unprecedented emphasis on performance and collaborations. Travels to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 21–Sept. 4. 2017; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nov. 4, 2017–Mar. 25, 2018.