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Handmade Readymades: Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg & James Rosenquist

“Abstract painting is like jazz… The melody is great, but what is the statement? Great tunes, but not connected to the real world where roses are red and the sky is blue, Tide is orange, and 7-Up is green.“ – James Rosenquist

STPI proudly presents American Modern masters Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg & James Rosenquist and their extraordinary ventures in printmaking. The 37 technical feats from the Singapore Art Museum Collection exploited the American print revival of the 50s–60s, revolutionizing how prints were perceived by amplifying the radical ideas and provocative visual language of The Readymades to ground-breaking effect.

From Rauschenberg’s layered photographic images, Johns’ figurative numbers, Rosenquist’s surreal cut-out compositions, and Lichtenstein’s dynamic comic strips, these avant-garde icons pushed the envelopes of both scale and techniques to demonstrate how printmaking collaborations were instrumental in this paradigm-shifting movement. They saw the appeal of print, with its handmade process, as an ideal form that enhanced their experimentation of the readymade image. “Printmaking is a collaboration not only with people, but with materials too… Collaboration not only takes the self-consciousness out of the artist, but the total result is generally so much greater, almost immeasurably.” – Robert Rauschenberg

Handmade Readymades examines the ways in which these artists redefined figurative art by exploring their original modes of representation, through the devices of collage, repetition, scale and abstraction. Adapting visual codes in media depictions and declaring everyday objects as motifs of modernity, they created new associations between displaced fragments of popular culture.

Relevant research areas: South Asia, 20th Century, Screenprinting

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