Rome

Robert Rauschenberg

Galleria Il Gabbiano

In this show Robert Rauschenberg presented ten medium- and large-scale pieces executed specifically for Rome. This can be considered a gesture of generosity and respect for the work ethic on the part of the artist; however, these paintings offer nothing new. Nevertheless, there is a positive aspect to this, not only in terms of the coherence of an almost forty-year-old esthetic, but particularly because Rauschenberg doesn’t make us witness a forced and embarrassing updating that artists with long careers so often feel compelled to produce.

In these works the background images depict advertising posters and scenes of urban life, portions of historical buildings, and classical statues. Above each of these fleeting, sometimes out-of-focus images, Rauschenberg has dropped a stain of paint, made with an unfettered, irregular brush stroke. This connection between the underlying image—bleeding to

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