Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg: A Farewell

Dear Robert Rauschenberg,

I first saw your work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and though I guess it wasn't the most comfortable of work, it was, for me, impressive and it expanded my thinking about art and such.

I saw this piece, "Bed," on the New York Times site today. It is just right.

On the Times site it was described this way. “For his high school graduation present, Mr. Rauschenberg wanted a ready-made shirt, his first. A decade or so later he made history with his own assemblages of scraps and ready-mades: sculptures and music boxes made of packing crates, rocks and rope; and paintings like 'Yoicks' sewn from fabric strips.”

My daughter, who is a quilter would understand this all very well.

We will miss your art and interpretation.



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cadh 8 said...

Salvaging scraps is a great part of quilting...There have been so many times that peices of quilts I have made in the past have all come together colorwise to make another very different quilt. I like his mixed media peice that you have posted. It would be cool to know more about what he was trying to say with his work. I will have to do some research.

brd said...

Oh dear, cadh 8, I suppose I should delete Alan Roberta's crass advertisement on my comments page, but I get so few comments, and this one is an "art" supplier, so I will let him stay planted on my little-read page.

Meanwhile, I will do some Rauchenberg homework too and will post what I find.

brd said...

First, the piece entitled Bed is on display at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It was created in 1955. I say created because it wasn't just painted, it was "combined". It is called one of Rauschenberg's "Combines," a technique of attaching cast off items to a traditional artistic support, like a frame. For this piece, he used an old pillow, a sheet, and a quilt. Then he used pencil, paint, and an Abstract Expressionist style to finish the artwork. MoMA says that the bedclothes belonged to the artist and the gallery description includes this quote fromt he artist: "Painting relates to both art and life.... (I try to act in that gap between the two.)"

There is a big question here that is left unanswered by the modern artists. For you and I both know that unless Rauschenberg was a quilter, there is an artist behind the artist in this work, i.e. the person who pieced and quilted the quilt. Let's keep looking for that answer.

brd said...

Obituary from the LA Times contains a short critique of the "Bed" combine.