Guggenheim Museum Honors Late Artist Robert Rauschenberg



Visitors Invited to Share Memories in Exhibition on View October 22 through November 5  

(NEW YORK, NY – October 22, 2008) – In honor of Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 - May 12, 2008), the Rauschenberg family and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum present A Photo Tribute to the Life of Robert Rauschenberg, on view at the Guggenheim from October 22 through November 5. The opening date marks what would have been the artist’s 83rd birthday.   

Included in the presentation are personal images selected by Rauschenberg’s family, highlighting important moments of his life and career, often depicting him joined in celebration with family, friends, and other artists that were among his contemporaries. A video comprised of footage from the artist’s personal archives will show him working in his Captiva Island, Florida studio.  Visitors are invited to participate in the artist’s favorite activity—collaboration—by contributing their own Rauschenberg-related photos, encounters, remembrances, or other relevant anecdotes, which will be posted on the gallery’s “muse wall,” thus becoming part of the album of the artist’s life. An additional component will include a blog on the Guggenheim’s website where those unable to visit the museum can post their remembrances.   

Rauschenberg was at the vanguard of contemporary art for nearly sixty years, creating art in a range of materials, media, and techniques.  Rauschenberg’s approach to painting entailed not only using a brush, but also silkscreening, collaging, transferring, and imprinting on materials ranging from canvas, board, silk, and nylon, to sheet metal, Plexiglas, plaster, and paper. He has been called a frontrunner of virtually every postwar American art movement since Abstract Expressionism, remaining, however, fiercely independent from any particular affiliation.   

This presentation at the Guggenheim Museum is the only public event among several other, private tributes to Rauschenberg scheduled this fall in New York and Los Angeles. A final tribute is planned for next spring in Venice in conjunction with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection’s presentation of Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts, a focused exhibition devoted to his assembled metal sculptures from the 1980s.   

Robert Rauschenberg and the Guggenheim

In 1997, the Guggenheim Museum organized Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective, the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work ever assembled.  It featured nearly 300 works, including several of his newly-created Anagrams paintings from the mid- to late 90s that used digital photography transferred via vegetable dyes, exemplifying his inventive and ever-evolving approach to art and his embrace of new technologies and materials.  The exhibition opened to universal acclaim and traveled to museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.  The 632-page catalogue is now a collector’s item.   

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation counts among its collection thirty-four works by Rauschenberg, including Barge, 1962-1963, the largest of the silkscreen paintings, a series of paintings in which the artist used commercially produced silkscreens to create paintings based on his own photographs and found media images.   

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. In early 2013 the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a 452,000 square foot museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open.   



October 22, 2008

Lauren Van Natten, Senior Publicist
Claire Laporte, Media Relations Associate
Tel 212 423 3840 or E-mail:  

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