Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)

Page 86, Paragraph 7

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
Page 86, Paragraph 7
signed and dated 'Rauschenberg 2K' (lower right)
vegetable dye transfer, acrylic and graphite on polylaminate
84 x 59 in. (213.3 x 149.8 cm.)
Executed in 2000.
Pace Wildenstein, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Zurich, Galerie Jamileh Weber, Robert Rauschenberg, Short Stories, May-July 2001, n.p. (illustrated in color).
New York, Pace Wildenstein, Robert Rauschenberg Short Stories: You are the Author, April-May 2003, pp. 63, 65 and 72 (illustrated in color and black and white detail).

Lot Essay

Page 86 Paragraph 7 is one of Rauschenberg's Short Stories series of paintings executed between 2000 and 2002. These transfer paintings were a series of mixed-media works executed using a highly technical pigment transfer or vegetable dye transfer process developed at Rauschenberg's Captiva studio to render on a polylaminate surface an apparently random sequence of photographic images that collectively appear as if illustrative of part of a story. To further this sense of narrative, Rauschenberg entitled each painting with a page number and a paragraph reference as if each referred to part of an ongoing but unseen written narrative. He then inscribed each work with the words: You are the Author.

Rauschenberg's Short Stories series grew out of his Apogamy Pods series of 1999 in which he had made paintings using a similar process but with no obvious narrative cohesion, aiming to create works that grow out of themselves, to contain their own contradictions and get rid of the narrative. In the Short Stories series in which Rauschenberg encouraged the viewer to create their own story from these dynamic but apparently randomly ordered images, Rauschenberg aimed to use his imagery to seduce the viewer into participating with him in a pictorial journey with an unknown destination. No tracks. No traces. Rauschenberg said of these works when they were exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2002:

"Your story or dream... these are your personal treasures to share or keep secret... think of them as seeds...the stories can change as time does...move fearlessly with love" (Robert Rauschenberg quoted in Robert Rauschenberg: Recent Work (Press Release), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2002).

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Morning Session Including Works from the Collection of Michael Crichton

View All
View All