Robert Rauschenberg: Posters
Along with Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) numbers among the art-world greats of the second half of the 20th century. All three began their careers as young artists in the post-war period, when people still believed, with an optimism difficult to understand today, that art could do anything. And their understanding of art is correspondingly all-encompassing. For the first, everything is beautiful; for the second, everyone is an artist; and the third, Rauschenberg, sees material for his art in everything around him. Thanks to a generous donation from the Hamburg collector Claus von der Osten, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg is devoting an exhibition to Rauschenberg, comprising prints and posters from his extensive collection. Because of this donation, the MKG boasts the world’s most comprehensive collection of its kind with approximately 160 posters designed by Rauschenberg. The exhibition of 120 works represents the most comprehensive survey of this facet of his oeuvre ever to go on show. Robert Rauschenberg, who grew up in the small town of Port Arthur, Texas, attended art academies from 1947 to 1951 in Kansas, Paris, North Carolina, and New York. He created his two most famous series, the Combines and the Silkscreen Paintings, in 1954 and 1962 respectively. From then on, new series followed regularly, in which Rauschenberg constantly found variations on his typical way of working, employing new techniques, tools, and materials and exploring their connections with new visual ideas. There are, among others, the Cardboard Series (wall reliefs made of previously used, deconstructed boxes), the Jammers (compositions made of translucent coloured fabrics), and large-scale works such as the Quarter Mile or 2 Furlong Piece or Quake in Paradise, a four-piece installation of printed aluminum plates.