oil, fabric, metal, wood and other found materials on canvas
United States
Overall: 66 3/4 × 49 7/8 × 14 1/4 in. (169.55 × 126.68 × 36.2 cm)

“Painting relates to both art and life . . . (I try to act in that gap between the two.)”  —Robert Rauschenberg

In the mid-1950s, Rauschenberg began using found objects, attaching some to his canvases and using others as supports for paintings. Rauschenberg called these work “combines,” hybrids of painting and sculpture.

His palette here is an assortment of materials salvaged from the street—a rusty baton, a medallion displaying a human tooth, fragments of a police barricade, and other items that evoke a human presence in an urban environment. Rauschenberg’s work fuses gestural painting and the flotsam of everyday life; some have called it a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.

Gift of the Sydney and Frances Lewis Foundation
From Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery 1959-1971, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, September 30, 2016 – January 29, 2017 (not lending for reasons of extreme fragility: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, March 5 – June 18, 2017)

Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, September 19, 1997 – January 11, 1998

Depth and Presence, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, May 3 – 30, 1971

Newport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CA, November 1966

Robert Rauschenberg, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY, March 31 – May 12, 1963

My Country, Tis of Thee, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, November 18 – December 15, 1962

Robert Rauschenberg, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, March 4 – 31, 1962

Robert Rauschenberg, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY, November 7 – December 5, 1961
Meyer, James, et. al. Dwan Gallery: Los Angeles to New York, 1959-1971. Washington: National Gallery of art; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, London: In association with The University of Chicago Press, 2016. Cat. no. 19, p. 122, color ill.; fig. 20 p. 327; detail p. 368.

Carbone, Teresa A. and Kellie Jones, et al. Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2014. (P. 98).

Wainwright, Lisa. “Practicing Rauschenberg.” In Learning Mind: Experience into Art, edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas. Chicago: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2009. (Pp. 117-123).

Shannon, Joshua. The Disappearance of Objects: New York Art and the Rise of the Postmodern City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. (No. 3.11, p. 104; pp. 105-108; 119; 131).

Ravenal, John B. Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. (Pp. 18-19).

Schimmel, Paul, et al. Robert Rauschenberg: Combines. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005. (No. 142, p. 166; 305).

Kuspit, Donald. “Manic Time: Robert Rauschenberg’s Selflessness.” La Repubblica of the Arts (May 1999): np.

Hopps, Walter and Susan Davidson, et al. Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1997. Exhibition catalogue. (No. 118, p. 145).

Brandt, Frederick R. Late 20th Century Art. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1985. (No. 77, pp. 158-159).

Contemporary Art, May 13, 1981. New York: Christie Manson & Woods, 1981. Auction catalogue. (No. 47).

Hunter, Sam. American Art of the 20th Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972. (No. 489, p. 263).

Leo Castelli: Ten Years. New York: Leo Castelli Gallery, 1967. (Np).

Robert Rauschenberg. New York: The Jewish Museum, 1963. (No. 38).
(Leo Castelli Gallery, New York) by 1961. European private collection. (Christies Manson & Woods, New York) by 1981; Purchased by the Sydney and Frances Lewis Foundation, Richmond, Virginia in May of 1981; [1] Gift to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in October of 1985.

[1] Lot #47, Contemporary Art sale of May 13, 1981. See auction catalogue.
©artist or artist’s estate

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.