The American Artist Robert Rauschenberg is to have a retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern in 2016. This will be the first since his death in 2008. It will also be the first comprehensive show of his practice in the UK for almost 35 years. The exhibition is a collaboration with New York’s Museum of Modern Art, keeping close dialogue with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. This posthumous retrospective is a comprehensive survey of Rauschenberg’s protean work since the encyclopedic Guggenheim Museum exhibition in 1997.
Rauschenberg was the first US artist to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1963. Born in 1925, he blazed a new trail for art in the second half of the twentieth century. Moving between painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, installation and performance, he refused to accept conventional boundaries in art and in life, his quest for innovation fired by his boundless curiosity, enthusiasm for collaboration and passion for travel.
Each chapter of Rauschenberg’s six-decade career will be represented by major works including loans that rarely travel. Among these is a selection of his Combines, hybrids between painting and sculpture, as well as his graphic screenprints which signal Rauschenberg’s early commitment to political activism. These signature bodies of work will be preceded by his early experiments at Black Mountain College, a hotbed for innovation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and his first collaborations with fellow artists and friends John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, David Tudor and CyTwombly. The artist’s work with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an organisation which developed collaboration between artists and engineers in the 1960s, will be explored, showing how he helped to blur the boundaries between the visual arts, dance and science.
In the mid-1960s Rauschenberg left New York for Florida and began to travel extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia. His Cardboards from the early 1970s, a wry comment on the forces of globalization, and his sumptuous fabric works such as The Jammers, inspired by his visit to the Indian textile centre of Ahmedabad will be included in the show. The epic project Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), which was completed between 1984 and 1991 taking in China, Cuba and Tibet, will also be on display.
Performance remained a key interest for Rauschenberg as did his interest in pushing the limits of image-making with new materials such as printing on translucent textiles, polished steel or oxydised copper, or with vegetable inks indicating his continued concern for the environment.
Robert Rauschenberg, organized in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art and in close dialogue with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, will be the first posthumous retrospective and the first comprehensive survey of Rauschenberg’s protean work since the encyclopedic Guggenheim Museum exhibition in 1997
Robert Rauschenberg Tate Modern: Exhibition 30 November 2016 – 9 April 2017