New York

Alain Robbe-Grillet and Robert Rauschenberg

Castelli Gallery | Uptown

Alain Robbe-Grillet, the French author and filmmaker, and Robert Rauschenberg have collaborated on an “image-text.” The collaboration was difficult, in part because of the procedure (Rauschenberg blocked out where the text would be, Robbe-Grillet wrote it in longhand on plates, and Rauschenberg set the image down on stones) and in part because of one-upsmanship (the images, all taken from French magazines, referred to the text but had a visual logic that often intruded upon it and Robbe-Grillet would complain. Page by page this went on, mostly by mail, for six years. The tension of image and text and of the two artists is evident, and the result is extraordinary.

The text is short and elliptical, fragmentary on the page and in the mind. For Robbe-Grillet, “An explanation, whatever it may be, can only be in excess, confronted with the presence of things,” yet, insofar as there is a narrative,

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