Robert Rauschenberg’s prints and paintings continue to be a source of joy and inspiration to art enthusiasts around the world. His 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece is going to be exhibited at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing from June 12 through August 21.
Rauschenberg Prints and the Beijing Connection
Rauschenberg exhibited his work at the National Art Museum in Beijing in 1985, as part of the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange (ROCI) program, which Rauschenberg believed could bring positive social change to the world.
The influence of his world view can be seen in two of the Rauschenberg works for sale at Vertu. Rauschenberg produced the Seven Series collages, representing seven Chinese characters. They were created in collaboration with papermakers at the Xuan Paper Mill in Jingxian, China. Each collage is done on thirty-ply paper and a layer of silk. The Chinese character on each piece is done in pulp relief. Rauschenberg applied images from posters that he found in Shanghai and overlaid them with thin, transparent paper. The collages are finished with gold leaf. A cloth medallion completes each work. The Seven Character Series became part of the 1985 ROCI CHINA exhibition.
The Continuing Influence of Black Mountain College
More of Rauschenberg’s work is included in an exhibit at the Hammer Musem at the University of California, in L.A. through May and will then travel to the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus, in September. The show is called, Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957. It’s a look at the incredible achievements and the impact that Black Mountain College had on the arts.
Black Mountain College was founded in 1933 by John A. Rice, a South Carolina-born Rhodes Scholar and educator, who ruffled many feathers in conservative southern colleges. After he was asked to resign from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, Rice founded Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina.
Rice wanted students to have a well-rounded education that included both art and science. The college was owned by the faculty, which included Buckminster Fuller, who created his first successful Geodesic Dome at Black Mountain, Merce Cunningham, who founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Black Mountain, John Cage, who taught music and produced multi-media theater pieces, artist Josef Albers, who had fled Nazi Germany after the closure of the Bauhuas and Robert Motherwell, one of America’s finest artists, whose prints are for sale at Vertu.
At Black Mountain, students like Rauschenberg were encouraged to participate in all of the arts and sciences, collaborate with their fellow students and guide their own curriculum
The wide range of experience that Black Mountain students, like Rauschenberg, received allowed them to explore a wide variety of interests.
Looking at the Rauschenberg print, Statue of Liberty and the mixed media Publicon Station Vl, both available in our gallery, it’s easy to see the influence of Black Mountain College and other avant-garde influences in Rauschenberg’s life.