new-york

Robert Rauschenberg

Whitney Museum of American Art

With the development of his combine-paintings in the first decade of his career, Robert Rauschenberg permanently extended the parameters of the medium to include all classes and combinations of materials, declaring that “A pair of socks is no less suitable to make a painting with than wood, nails, turpentine, oil and fabric.”

By 1961, he had wired a painting to accommodate an electric clock mounted on its surface, adhered a stuffed goat to a collaged wooden platform, and explored the use of chemical solvents to transfer printed media images; John Cage described Rauschenberg’s working method as “a poetry of infinite possibilities.” In 1962, just when it seemed as if Rauschenberg had done everything one could do in painting, he harnessed the industrial screen-printing process in the service of this traditional fine art.

Screen printing offered Rauschenberg the technical freedom to bypass the

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.