Suite of Nine Prints
This disparate elements that make up the composition are not immediately apparent or iconic. Their affect is more about shape or form rather than immediate symbolism - there is no JFK American eagle or spaceship here. Instead we have poetic and mysterious elements including a deep-sea diver, the arm of a record player and sunken treasure or ship's figurehead.
Whilst Rauschenberg was a celebrated multimedia artist prior to embarking into the print world, the screenprinting technique entirely liberated Rauschenberg's work. With both forms of printmaking, the artist discovered ways in which he could quickly and repetitively transfer his found imagery to the canvas of his paintings and Combines.
Rauschenberg believed that the printmaking technique of lithography was old-fashioned and is notorious for having stated that 'the second half of the twentieth century is no time to start writing on rocks'. Ironically, it is Rauschenberg who became a significant figure in the resurrection of American printmaking that occurred during the 1960s. He has subsequently worked with many leading print workshops to create more than 800 published editions. Printmaking is a technique perfectly suited to his methodology of layering found images and one which gave him total control over the size and scale of each component image. It was through printmaking that Rauschenberg was able to once again blur the distinctions between media and perfectly unite his obsessive use of the photographic image with painterly techniques.
Offset lithographs with collage, 1979, each signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 100, published by Multiples, Inc., New York with the blind stamp of the printer Styria Studio, New York., 78 ×59 cm. (30.1 × 23.2 in.)
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