Rauschenberg - Change from Seven Characters

Robert Rauschenberg: Seven Character Series

Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008

There is no reason not to consider the world as one gigantic painting. – Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg believed that art could change the world. As a mature, successful artist, he traveled extensively around the world. In 1984, he established the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (R.O.C.I.), sharing his expertise with artists in other countries and learning about artistic traditions from his host country’s artists. After a dozen trips to countries around the world, Rauschenberg exhibited the works inspired by his travels at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

When he visited China, Rauschenberg collaborated with papermakers at the Xuan Paper Mill in Jingxian to create a series of collages based on seven Chinese characters.

To create the Seven Character Series, Rauschenberg used a base of thirty-ply paper covered with a layer of silk He then added a character to each work in pulp relief. On top of the base he placed images from posters that he found in Shanghai, attached and overlaid with a thin transparent paper. To finish off each work, Rauschenberg applied gold leaf and hung a cloth medallion on each work.

These works were included in  the ROCI CHINA exhibition held at the National Art Gallery in Beijing in 1985.

Works from the Seven Character Series are available at VFA.

Much of what led to Robert Rauschenberg becoming one of the most influential and avant-garde artists of the twentieth century  were serendipitous events. He was born and raised in a strict, religious family in the small, refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. He planned on becoming a minister, but the ban on dancing in his family church changed his mind. His parents sent him to the University of Texas in Austin to study pharmacology, but he was expelled in his freshman year after he refused to dissect a frog. He was drafted in 1943. The letter from the draft board was his excuse not have to tell his parents about his expulsion.

He did tell the army that he was a conscientious objector, and was assigned to work as a medical technician in the Navy Hospital Corps, caring for combat survivors in San Diego. It was during one of his leaves that he visited the Huntington Art Gallery in California and saw his first oil paintings. The visit changed the trajectory of his life and he began to study art.

In 1950, he moved to New York, where he used found objects that he used to create the combines that centered around his belief that what artists create can be freely interpreted by each viewer.

When he moved to Florida’s Captiva Island in 1970, where he lived for nearly forty years, the objects he found there were very different than the ones he found in the streets of New York.

He was surrounded by beaches, and was influenced by the color and texture of the sand. The combines he created during those years are sleeker and more architectural than his earlier works.

Works that he made when he moved to Captiva are currently on view at the Gladstone Gallery in New York. The works were influenced by his travels abroad and his new surroundings off the Gulf Coast.

Robert Rauschenberg: Venetians and Early Egyptians, 1972-1974 will be on view at the Gladstone Gallery through June 18, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Robert Rauschenberg available at VFA.

Catherine Yang. Seeing Robert Rauschenberg for the First Time, All Over Again. Hyperallergic. June 8, 2022.
Beatrice Johnson. Sand Into Stone: (Untitled) Early Egyptian and the Personal Myths of Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. (June 14, 2022).

Honoring the Printmaker

A current exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum pays tribute to master printers. It is their skills, talents and ability to problem solve that help to create fine art prints. It is the artist, not the printmaker, who gets credit for the work, even though many fine art prints are true collaborations and many printmakers are artists themselves.

Iconic printers, like Kenneth Tyler and Ron Adams, revived the art of lithography in America. They taught many artists how to work with a lithography stone and also collaborated on design and composition.

Ron Adams (1934-2020) was a talented artist and printmaker. He attended the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Manual Arts Adult Night School, Los Angeles City College, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, the University of Mexico.

Adams worked at Ken Tyler’s illustrious Gemini G.E.L. printing workshop in Los Angeles and at Editions Press in San Francisco. He left California in 1974 to found Hand Graphics Ltd. in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ron Adams worked with Jasper Johns,  Ellsworth Kelly and other artists. He was one of the printers who helped Robert Rauschenberg with his Stoned Moon Series. The works were printed at Gemini G.E.L. after Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to witness the first moon landing. Adams sold Hand Graphics, in 1987, to focus on his own artwork.

Bill Lagattuta took over Hand Graphics and worked with Jim Dine and other artists to help them create fine lithographs. Lagattuta and Dine worked together for more than fourteen years.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations focuses on six master printers. Each printer is also a fine artist and empathetic collaborator. A video of their works and perspectives accompanies the exhibit.

Master printers have had a profound effect on the works of many artists. Kenneth Tyler began working with artists in the 1960s. His expertise had a great impact on American artists and the rise of printmaking. He established some of the finest print workshops on both the East and West coasts of the U.S.

His most famous, and longest, collaboration was with Frank Stella. The pair worked together for more than forty years, until Tyler’s retirement in 2000. Tyler also worked with Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations will be on view at the Albuquerque Museum through May 15, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

The History Makers. Ron Adams Biography. July 13, 2010.
Nancy Zastudil. Shining a Light on the Art of the Printmaker. Hyperallergic. April 4, 2022.
Museum of Texas Tech University. Crisscross: Bill Lagattuta and Collaborative Printmaking (Series 2 of 3). January 2022.
Princeton University Art Museum. Printing without Limits: Frank Stella, Ken Tyler, and the Making of Juam. 2002.
Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club

Draw, Print, Repeat: Double Images and Repeated Patterns

In 1998, a year after Roy Lichtenstein died, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established. Headed by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, the Foundation has given its support to many outreach and research projects.

This year the Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to help fund the research catalogue for the upcoming exhibition: The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900.

The exhibit examines how and why artists use double forms or motifs in their works. The NGA website says that the exhibit has several themes: “artists in the exhibition explore questions of identity and difference—the difference between the original work and a copy, the identity of the art with the artist, and especially self-identity as defined by our own unconscious, by society, as well as by race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of differentiation.”

Included in the exhibit are works by Andy Warhol, Jasper JohnsRobert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.

Warhol knew the impact that multiple images have on a viewer. In a work like Portrait of the Artists, the viewer’s eye is forced across the composition to compare each artists’ face with its ten repeated images and with the image of the nine others. His use of the double image is a bit more subtle in Tidal Basin, where he uses a mirror image of the Washington Monument as well as two rectangular backgrounds to draw the eye across the work.

In Frank Stella’s work Black Stack, Stella uses repeated triangles to draw the viewer’s eye down the length on the lithograph, and back up again.

Repeated patterns can be comforting, making order out of chaos. In the 1980s, Donald Sultan created a series of paintings, The Disaster Series, based on newspaper images of the destruction of man-made objects, like train cars and industrial buildings. In 2017 twelve large paintings from the series traveled to major venues around the country, including the Smithsonian.

Sultan’s style went from chaos to order by using linoleum squares, covered with tar, and ordered into series of repeated patterns of dominoes, lantern flowers and poppies. His repeated designs are like comfort food, giving a feeling of serenity, like Big Poppies, Cor-Ten Poppies, even with the use of industrial materials.

One of the modern masters of the repeated image is Julian Opie, whose multiple images move across his work, letting the viewer compare and contrast the individual forms he creates.

The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900 will be on exhibit at the National Gallery from May 15 to September 5, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

Robert Rauschenberg at the Tampa Museum

Fifty years ago this month, the world watched as Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the lunar surface. Robert Rauschenberg was one of a number of artists invited by NASA to the Kennedy Space Center to witness and document the launch.

The launch inspired Rauschenberg to create the Stoned Moon Series, a series of 34 lithographs printed at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles. Works from the Stoned Moon Series are in private collections and in major venues like the Smithsonian.

Robert Rauschenberg
Cover Page, Stoned Moon Book, 1970

What has rarely been seen, is The Stoned Moon Book, that Rauschenberg put together after the launch. The Stoned Moon Book contains images and text that record both his experience and impressions of the Apollo 11 mission. The book details the artist’s experience on his way to, during and after the launch. He includes photos and quotes from participants at the Space Center and at the print shop, highlighting the collaborative effort that went into the space launch and the printing of his work.

The text is joyful, hopeful and also reflects Rauschenberg’s fondness for Florida (“free orange juice, air condition, swimming pool”), where he lived and worked for more than forty years, in his studio on Captiva Island. Rauschenberg was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1991. He died on Captiva in 2008 at age 82.

Four photo-collages for the book’s front and back covers and endpapers, and eleven layout pages are on display, through July 26th, at the Craig F. Starr Gallery in Manhattan.

The exhibit, Robert Rauschenberg: Stoned Moon (1969-70), includes work from the series as well as The Stoned Moon book.

Robert Rauschenberg at the Tampa Museum of Art

Robert Rauschenberg’s collages often became master prints, which included the artist’s photographs. What made his work so unique was his ability to see beauty and fascination in many of the mundane things he encountered in his daily life.

The Tampa Museum of Art has an extensive collection of Rauschenberg’s works, including some rarely exhibited photographs.

Some of the photographs that Rauschenberg took while traveling around the U.S. in 1983, will be on display at  the museum this summer. Suite 1 from America Mix-16 is a portfolio consisting of 16 photogravures from the museum’s collection.

Robert Rauschenberg: Suite 1 (America Mix-16) will be on view from August 9, 2019 through January 5, 2020.

Robert Rauschenberg Screenprints and Collage at VFA

One of the finest examples of Robert Rauschenberg’s use of photography in his work is the Statue of Liberty from the New York, New York Series, done in 1983. The serene colors and composition capture the essence of the statue, and of the city, not the usual depiction of New York.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Robert Rauschenberg available at VFA.

See More Robert Rauschenberg Artwork for Sale

Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules

Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules

The retrospective, Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, has traveled from the the Tate Modern in London, to MoMA in New York and is now at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The show, which includes more than 170 works by Rauschenberg,  will be on exhibit through March 25th.

The title of the show references the Erased de Kooning Drawing that Rauschenberg created in 1953. Always curious, always pushing the boundaries of art, Rauschenberg wanted to create a work of his own by erasing the work of another artist. Rauschenberg held Willem de Kooning in high regard, and decided to ask him for a drawing that he could erase.

“I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels,” Rauschenberg said, “and hoped that he wouldn’t be home when I knocked on his door. And he was home. We sat down with the bottle of Jack Daniels and I told him what my project was and he understood it. And he said, ‘I don’t like it, but I understand what you’re doing.’ And he pulled something out and he said, ‘I’m going to make it so hard for you to erase this.’ And it took me about a month, and I don’t know how many erasers to do it.”

The  Erased de Kooning Drawing wasn’t shown for a few years after it was created, but word got out about his project and the work became well known, even before it was shown.

Combining Art, Technology (and Other Stuff)

Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925. His parents were Fundamentalist Christians, his father an avid hunter. Rauschenberg served in the navy from 1942 to 1945, then studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Academie Julian in Paris, Black Mountain College in North Carolina and, from 1949 to 1952, went to the Art Students League in New York. He was a well-trained artist, and a curious one, who explored the use of unexpected materials in multiple media. Rauschenberg was a painter, photographer, lithographer, choreographer and performer who never fit into any category, and whose work influenced every postwar art movement since Abstract Expressionism.

After a trip to Yellowstone Park, Rauschenberg was inspired to create Mud Muse, a vat containing  two tons of bubbling mud, activated by a recorded sound track. Mud Muse was done in 1968, before the dawn of the digital age. Rauschenberg had Mud Muse engineered by scientists at California’s Teledyne Technologies.

Mud Muse is part of a permanent museum collection in Sweden, and has traveled to London and the U.S. accompanied by a technician who ensures that the mud is of the proper consistency (like yogurt) and that the mud bubbles in response to the to the sound levels.

Primal and Technical

Just as he combined the primal mud and technical components in Mud Muse, Rauschenberg combined primal printing on stone with space travel. In 1969, Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to place man on the moon for the first time. Combining crayon and tusche on lithography stone and images supplied by NASA, Rauschenberg created the Stoned Moon Series, the title reflecting both the primal stone printing process and the technical achievement of science.

Robert Rauschenberg Prints at VFA

Please contact us for more information about work from the Stoned Moon Series, or the other extraordinary work by Robert Rauschenberg available at VFA.

See More Robert Rauschenberg Artwork for Sale

Fine Art PRints: Robert Indiana

Politics and Patriotism in Fine Art Prints

American fine print artists have created some of the most powerful political and patriotic works in history. Shepard Fairey just jumped into the political fray with a new campaign poster.

Fairey’s work is tame in comparison to the print that Andy Warhol made when the Democratic party asked him for a contribution to George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon. Instead of a portrait of McGovern, Warhol chose to create a diabolic portrait of Nixon underscored with the hand-written message, Vote McGovern. Nixon won, but Warhol’s work, for sale at Vertu, is still one of the most powerful campaign posters in political history.

We tend to think about Pop artists as rebels in their day, and they were. But many of those same artists served in the Armed Forces during World War ll and the Korean War. That experience shaped their experience as artists and, in some cases, allowed them to continue their art education through the G.I. Bill.

Roy Lichtenstein was in the army from 1943 through 1946. He was worked as a draftsman and artist for the army. Lichtenstein was stationed in Europe, where he was exposed to great European art and artists. He was one of the artists who went to school under G.I. Bill and received a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University.

Lichtenstein did pilot training during his stint in the Army. His screenprint, Salute to Aviation, won a Purchase Award at the Brooklyn Museum’s 17th National Print Exhibition in 1970. It’s available for sale in our gallery at this time.

American artist Robert Earl Clark chose to call himself Robert Indiana, a tribute to the state in which he was born and raised. After a stint in the Air Force during the late 1940s, Indiana attended the Art Institute of Chicago under the G.I. Bill. His 2008 HOPE silkscreen was reproduced on T-shirts and other merchandise and netted more than $1million for the Obama campaign.

Indiana, at age 87, secludes himself, and his chihuahua, in his home in the coastal town of Vinalhaven, Maine. He he’s stayed out of politics since the 2008 election. When asked about the recent presidential campaigns by a Guardian interviewer, Indiana said, “I have, right in front of me as I sit talking to you, a Mexican friend of mine. He’s a chihuahua. And he’s very disturbed and very depressed watching TV. He’s sure that Trump guy is going to do away with chihuahuas.”

Jasper Johns, one of the greatest American painters and printmakers served in the army during the Korean War. Johns’ American Flags and maps are iconic images. Johns was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

We have several of Jasper Johns prints for sale at Vertu. One of our favorites is Periscope, which showcases his extraordinary use of color and design and his skill as a printmaker.

It’s not easy to imagine Robert Rauschenberg, a rebel in the art world, taking orders from anyone, but Rauschenberg was drafted and served in the Navy toward the end of World War ll.

His work includes images of and homages to iconic American people, places and events.

Rauschenberg created his Stoned Moon Series in 1969, the year of America’s first successful moon landing.  He was invited to Cape Canaveral, by NASA, to witness the launch of Apollo 11. The prints and writings he did in Stoned Moon Series indicate how profoundly affected he was by the event.

The Rauschenberg prints for sale at Vertu are distinctly American and attest to Rauschenberg’s skill as both a fine artist and printmaker. Artists have influenced the way we look at the world and the world has influenced the art they produce.


Robert Rauschenberg Prints: Beijing and Black Mountain

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.

Contact Vertu Fine Art Gallery to find out more about Robert Rauschenberg prints, Robert Motherwell works for sale and the other fine artists whose work is available in our gallery.

Rauschenberg Monogram

Rauschenberg’s Monogram (Will Never Make it to the Vatican)

Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram opened the door for his contemporaries, like Andy Warhol, to do more than place paint on canvas, ink on paper or a chisel to stone.

Rauschenberg was a young artist in New York, in 1955, when he saw a stuffed angora goat in the window of a used office furniture store. The store owner was asking $35 for the goat. Rauschenberg only had $15 in his pocket. Rauschenberg took the goat, and promised to return with the rest.

He took the goat home, wrapped a tire around it and worked on the piece for the next four years.
When it was completed, it was exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery. Nothing quite like it had been seen before, and it was the subject of much controversy.

The goat and the tire are entwined, like the two letters of a monogram.The goat’s face is covered in paint and the goat itself is trapped within the tire. Both the goat and the tire are discarded items. “I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world,” Rauschenberg said.

When he went back to the office furniture store, to pay the owner the twenty dollars he still owed for the goat, he found the store closed and out of business.

A private collector offered to purchase Monogram for MoMA, but Alfred H. Barr, MoMA’s director (and someone who was usually on the cutting edge of the art scene) declined the offer. It was purchased by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and, over the years, has traveled throughout the world to be displayed in major galleries and museums.

I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world”
—Robert Rauschenberg

The base of Monogram, on which the goat stands, is one of the Combine paintings that Rauschenberg worked on during the late ‘50s, combining materials, techniques and subjects.

While abstract expressionism was still shown in galleries at the time, Rauschenberg’s Monogram and Combines allowed the mixed media work of Jasper Johns, and others, to gain greater acceptance.

In 1962, Rauschenberg visited Andy Warhol’s studio and was impressed by Warhol’s silkscreened paintings. Rauschenberg went back to his studio and began to produce silkscreens, like Statue of Liberty, which is in our gallery at this time.

We also have fine examples of Rauschenberg’s mixed media work, which he continued to produce until his death, in 2008, at age 83.

Rauschenberg was the first American to be awarded the Venice Biennial Grand Prize in 1964. Art Critic, Jorg von Uthmann, said, “The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano deplored the event as ‘the total and general defeat of culture.”

If you take a look at Monogram from the rear, it’s possible that the goat…but more probable that Rauschenberg…had the last laugh.

New Pop Art For Sale at Vertu Fine Art Gallery

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At VFA our Boca Raton gallery continues to acquire and feature some of the finest quality Pop Art prints and originals that can be found in South Florida. Some of the exciting new art for sale is listed here. Our passion leads us to regularly buy and sell the finest quality of Pop Art lithographs, sculptures, paintings and unique objects available, so our inventory changes frequently. Visit our gallery at Boca Center or contact us for prompt attention regarding anything that you may be seeking or to learn more about our most recent acquisitions.

Of the American Pop Art masters that continue to grow in legend and capture the imagination, Roy Lichtenstein’s popularity remains at high pitch. Lichtenstein’s Crak!, a captivating offset lithograph that holds a solid place among those works that launched him into the public eye, is as spectacular now as it was fifty years ago, when the artist created it for a Leo Castelli exhibition in the fall of 1963. The deadpan comic book design contains the Ben-Day dots that Lichtenstein single-handedly transposed from low art into the highest echelons of Contemporary Fine Art. This piece is pure Pop Art, demonstrating clearly how Roy Lichtenstein captured the pubic imagination and earned the reputation of an artist with incredible vision.

Another equally impressive Roy Lichtenstein lithograph now hanging in our Boca Raton gallery is Foot and Hand (Cat. #II 4), also a famous Lichtenstein tribute the popular comic books of the time. For collectors of Roy Lichtenstein, Foot and Hand delivers all that is great about the artist’s works. This popular print shows off the artist’s delight in capturing the campy action of the comics− the dramatic moment rendered by way of Ben-Day dots, primary colors and strong contrasts − as the shaded boot puts emphatic halt to the hand that reaches for the revolver. Roy Lichtenstein’s comic works makes the viewer feel as if they’ve stepped back in time. This quintessential style felt both antiquated and nostalgic in the early sixties when the artist “blew it up” and it’s equally poignant today. If anything, fifty years later, Lichtenstein’s Pop Art slices of life feel as hip as anything that’s been showcased since.

Pop and Abstract Expressionist Art collectors will be pleased to learn of the newly acquired Robert Rauschenberg print L.A. Uncovered #10. Every print from Robert Rauschenberg’s historic L.A. Uncovered series is a piece in high demand, featuring images photographed by the artist himself, from the seat of a car, as he took a peak at the City of Los Angeles’ underbelly. Rauschenberg is frequently credited for the influence of his early works, which paved the way for American Pop Artists, presenting a new sensibility of cultural observation and reflection. In 1998, Rauschenberg was still discovering new methods for finding the most authentic human stories, enabling him to continue creating his famous mash-ups. The artist’s collages artfully illuminate the spectrum of realities that face all beings on the planet at any given moment. L.A. Uncovered #10 gives us pause to explore our own insights, as unique and varied as the iconic images juxtaposed before us.

Moving from American Pop Artists to the U.K’s Young British Artist (YBA) movement – our Boca Raton Art gallery proudly features new works from Michael Craig-Martin – the artist credited for inspiring a number of YBA artists, including Damien Hirst, Ian Davenport, Fiona Rae and others. Craig-Martin is best known for his ability to show us grand elements in even the most mundane of common objects. Catalan Suite II, a series of six objects, each portrayed individually, is a surprisingly powerful group of works and we’re pleased that the complete set hangs currently in our South Florida gallery. It’s a series that must been seen “in person” to fully appreciate the powerful simplicity and eloquence of the works.

We welcome you to visit with us or contact us if there’s anything we can do to assist you in sourcing the very finest Contemporary Art prints and originals.

Robert Rauschenberg White Painting

Robert Rauschenberg Prints at VFA

Vertu Fine Art is pleased to present a few examples of the impressive Robert Rauschenberg prints for sale at our South Florida art gallery. Rauschenberg’s contributions as an Abstract Expressionist and Pop Artist were powerful and significant in defining moments attributed to both movements. At a time when nations and people were rebounding from the Second World War, emotionally and intellectually, artists who pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo were in high demand. Robert Rauschenberg was one such artist and his thought provoking works continuously inspire artists and collectors alike.

Robert Rauschenberg masterfully juxtaposed emotionally charged objects to make bold statements, while also raising important questions about suggested or perceived correlations. In 1965, at a time when the issue of racial equality became a more highly focused topic, CORE evolved into a stronger and more prominent organization. By including images of the Statue of Liberty, a Civil War soldier statue, various industrial images, John F. Kennedy and a Native American − side by side, Rauschenberg most certainly was set the table for a number of interesting inferences.

CORE is also a work that demonstrates the affinity that Robert Rauschenberg had for printmaking and mixed media. Well known for his combines, for which the artist collected rubbish from the streets of New York to include as components, this work suggests a different style of mixed media. In creating CORE, Rauschenberg blended silkscreen techniques with traditional painting techniques, applying brush strokes and stains to the printed images offered in this rather special collage.

Another truly historic Robert Rauschenberg print for sale at VFA is Marsh from the Stoned Moon series inspired by NASA’s successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon. In 1966, Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver, an electrical engineer from Bell Telephone Laboratories, launched an organization called Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) to foster collaboration between artists and engineers. Rauschenberg was rewarded by the engineers at NASA, who invited the artist to personally witness the Apollo 11 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.

Following this moving experience, Robert Rauschenberg created his Stoned Moon series of 34 lithographs that included, among other things, official images from the NASA archive – such as those of astronauts, space suites, machinery and engineering drafts. The Stone Moon lithographs were also considered to be technically forward-thinking printmaking as well, as certain lithographs were the largest to have been created at that time.

Another inventive and “process heavy” Robert Rauschenberg print for sale is Epic from the artist’s Ground Rules series. The ground rules series of prints, eleven in all, were created in 1997 working with master printers from ULAE (Universal Limited Art Editions).

The series contained works done by way of intaglio, with images transferred to photogravure plate and printed on Arches En Tout Cas paper. The result was a production with uniquely textured otherworldly images. Much of Rauschenberg’s career focused upon this blended approach toward achieving an artistic vision altered by the application of scientific experimentation.

Viewing Robert Rauschenberg’s works can prove to be a nostalgic experience, bringing to the surface a multitude of questions about emotionally charged times in postwar America. For collectors and art enthusiasts, the works of Rauschenberg elicit thoughts about the creative shots fired by an artist who has forever changed the face of Contemporary Art in America.

The pieces examined within this post are merely an example of the Robert Rauschenberg works available for sale at the Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, FL. If you are a collector seeking a specific Rauschenberg work, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. If you are local to our gallery, please stop in to see all of the latest Pop Art, Optical Art and Abstract Expressionist works currently available.

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg: Highly Contextual

Every Contemporary Art master contributes irrevocably toward the establishment or growth of one of more art movements.  In the case of Robert Rauschenberg, an artist who we feature consistently in our South Florida art gallery, his untempered use of mixed media and highly contextual philosophies breathed life into the Neo-Dada and Pop Art movements that placed New York City as a Mecca of Contemporary Art during the mid-century.

Today, artists who gain favor for their use of “up-cycled” reclaimed materials, whether knowingly or not, stand on the shoulders of Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp and a number of artists who went green years before environmentalists took notice.  In the case of Robert Rauschenberg, the discarded objects he found in the trash and elsewhere on the streets of New York became prized components within his highly acclaimed works known as Combines.

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

For Rauschenberg, the perceptual shift of such materials – from useless discard to high art – was precisely the tools he required to build strength in the perception of his works. Rauschenberg cherished the “surprise” that could be found in such objects, as he himself was often unsure what an object would represent when juxtaposed to another.  Such surprise is the magic that Rauschenberg sought to deliver.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Bed (1955) is one of the artist’s earliest Combines and one of his most famous.  While the dripped paint likens the work to that of Jackson Pollock, it’s Rauschenberg’s use of color, most notably the color red, that give the piece an ominous message, easily interpreted as a sign of a violent sexual act.  The ample size and dimension of this work lends itself to a certain degree of intimacy, with the viewer often feeling uneasiness to be in such close proximity to objects that typically reside behind closed doors.  Robert Rauschenberg is famously quoted to have said, “Painting relates to both art and life.  I try to act in that gap between the two.”

Prior to creating Combines, Robert Rauschenberg first shocked the art world with his 1951 White Paintings, consisting of seven wood panels painted in white.  To fully appreciate the work, one must share the artist’s perspective, that the piece is in fact affected by ambient elements.  For instance, the viewer or multiple viewers in fact affect the viewing experience by nature of altering light blockage variances occurring at any given time.  In essence, to be present with the work is to be a contributor.  Art critics found preposterous such assertions that the viewer’s consumption of the work is affected by abstract components, such as sound and dust particles in the room and even the motion of trees outside. Rauschenberg created other notable monochromatic pieces, including Red Paintings and Black Paintings using mixed media painted in the same color, providing texture and variety to the works dependent upon angles of view.

Fortunately for Rauschenberg, controversy served to fuel the artist’s influence, just as it did for a number of Pop Artists, including Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.  While Robert Rauschenberg’s mixed media Combines initially drew attention, it was his juxtaposed combinations of popular American cultural images that inked the artist into art history as a leader of the Pop Art movement.

Perhaps the most famous of Rauschenberg’s Pop Art contributions is the Stoned Moon series of lithographs.  The genesis for this series was Robert Rauschenberg’s participation as a viewer of 1969 launch of the Apollo 11 rocket, having been officially invited by NASA.  Years prior, Rauschenberg had been responsible for the creation a non-profit organization called Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), which brought together the communities of fine artists and technical engineers.  NASA reworded Rauschenberg with access to archives and assorted photos that made their way into the artist’s highly acclaimed Stoned Moon works.

Throughout his career, Robert Rauschenberg collaborated frequently with musical artists, dance and performance artists, often lending his talents to the creation of elaborate sets and costumes.  The artist’s worldwide acclaim landed him remarkable opportunities for collaboration.  Rauschenberg was commissioned by auto maker BMW to contribute to the BMW Art Car Project, which included his painting of BMW 635 CSI in 1986.  Also in the 1980’s, the artist’s talents landed him a Grammy Award for the album cover he designed for the Talking Head’s Speaking in Tongues album.

Artist Robert Rauschenberg discusses Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953, one of his most controversial works. It is now in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Visitors to VFA Gallery in Boca Raton, FL are welcome to view the latest works of Robert Rauschenberg now available for sale.  As always, we offer our assistance to anyone seeking a specific Rauschenberg for their collection.  If you have questions for Gary or Bill about any of the Pop Art, Abstract Expressionist Art or Optical Art works that we procure, please feel free to stop by, give us a call or contact us online.

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork - Roy Lichtenstein, 1985

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork at Vertu Fine Art

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The works of American Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein never fail to draw us in. Whether it’s the familiarity of iconic comic book style, the quirkiness of his subjects or the emotional coolness of his works, Lichtenstein always makes us feel something. Perhaps it’s the artist’s reputation, his powerful contribution to launching Pop Art into the public mainstream that makes Roy Lichtenstein artwork work feel larger than life. As with other works by American Pop Art masters that hang on the walls of our Boca Raton gallery – those by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns or Robert Rauschenberg – Lichtenstein’s work spurs interesting conversations about the artist’s style, techniques and intentions.

The Student (Cat. #176), 1980

One of the newer Roy Lichtenstein prints for sale at Vertu is The Student, 1980 (Woodcut with embossing, 38.25 x 34 inches, signed and numbered in pencil). The student is a valuable low edition Lichtenstein print (edition of 50) that conveys the influence of cubist master Pablo Picasso. While elements of the work pay homage to the cubist style, the piece nonetheless contains many of the signature Roy Lichtenstein elements, such as the artist’s use of thick black lines and primary colors. The style of the window and curtain in The Student also tie in the Pop Artist’s signature comic book influence, while providing a bit of depth and whimsy.

For those of us over forty, Lichtenstein’s works are emblematic of the pop art of the 1960’s. The same could be said for other Pop Art masters, but Roy Lichtenstein certainly secured his own style within that mix. Pop Art collectors who equate Warhol with Babe Ruth will most certainly agree that Roy Lichtenstein is Lou Gehrig, or vice versa.

Study Of Hands, 1981

Much of the same cool modern style is true of Lichtenstein’s Study Of Hands, 1981 (Lithograph and Screenprint, 31.25 X 32.75 in., Edition of 100). Study of Hands is a fun piece, no two ways about it. Comic book style in the truest sense. Yet, four very distinct styles, as though they would each belong to a separate series within the same genre. Once again, the colors, lines and personality belonging to this work are all unmistakably Roy Lichtenstein.

Still Life with Red Jar (C.291: G.1621), 1994

Lichtenstein collectors who enjoy such representations are also drawn to another Roy Lichtenstein work for sale at Vertu − Still Life with Red Jar, 1994 (Screenprint, 21.5 X 19.25 in., Edition of 250). The simple and traditional subject of this work seem to accentuate that by 1994, one could argue that Roy Lichtenstein’s style is the subject. The lines, colors and depth all work so lovely that the longer one views it, the more complex the piece begins to appear. The objects appear lifeless one moment and full of expression the next. Once again, the viewer is forced to resolve the artist’s motive. Lichtenstein often said that he was as interested in the abstract qualities of images as their subject matter.

Repeated Design, 1969

Repeated Design – 1969 Cat. #90 (Lithograph, 16.75 in. X 40.75 in., Edition of 100) is yet another Lichtenstein work that viewers are immediately attracted to, often questioning which wall of the home or place of business would be most deserving of such a work. For many of us, this piece will also take us back to a place in time when it seemed like such contemporary pieces signified something futuristic. Interesting that we now see these works retrospectively! Once again, Roy Lichtenstein presents a work that is fraught with duplicity − simplistic and complex − flat, yet with great depth – lifeless one moment, emotive the next. This print includes a healthy dose of artist’s signature use of Ben-Day dots and most certainly alludes to a central lesson of Pop art; that all forms of communication are filtered through code.

If you’re a Roy Lichtenstein collector in search of a particular work, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

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