Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008)
Lithograph; 15 3/4 x 16 in. (40 x 40.6 cm)
John B. Turner Fund, 1966 (66.592.35)
© Robert Rauschenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Often considered a forerunner of the Pop Art movement, Rauschenberg has been engaged with the print medium since the early 1960s. His work, which incorporates found objects with expressionistic marks of paint, reflects his guiding philosophy that art and life should meld. For Rauschenberg, no object or material lies outside the realm of art, as evidenced in canonical works like Bed (1955, Museum of Modern Art, New York) and Monogram (195558, Moderna Museet, Stockholm), in which he used old bed sheets and a stuffed goat, respectively. In his early printed work, such as this lithograph, Rauschenberg employed found photographs often borrowed from discarded newspaper printing plates. The images, mostly obscured by a system of loosely brushed marks, reveal fragments of soldiers, political figures, sporting scenes, charts, and maps.