Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends


Robert Rauschenberg. Pelican. 1963

Robert Rauschenberg. Pelican, 1963. Performed in a former CBS television studio, New York, during the First New York Theater Rally, May 1965. Performed by Carolyn Brown, Alex Hay, and Robert Rauschenberg. 16mm film transferred to video (black and white, sound). Editing and installation by Charles Atlas. 2:13 min. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York

Artist, Robert Rauschenberg: Oh, I love collaborating, because art can be a really lonely business, if you’re really just working from your ego.

Curator, Leah Dickerman: That was artist Robert Rauschenberg. He broke art wide open, letting in objects and practices and ideas from the everyday world.

Gallerist, Virginia Dwan: He knew how to put objects together in a way that was always wonderful and even objects which were not wonderful in themselves at all. I felt exhilarated by his work.

Critic, Calvin Tomkins: It was really in Bob’s studio that I began to get an idea of what art could be or how many different things it could be.

Leah Dickerman: Collaboration was key to Rauschenberg’s thinking.

Robert Rauschenberg: When you have two people thinking at the same time about a single outcome, or object, well then, it’s just like multiplied and mirrored back and forth, ’til—’til it becomes, you know, like—like a whole group of brains and feelings and solutions.

Sidney Felsen: Bob made everyone feel they were an important part in the making of his art. There was excitement, electricity.

Brice Marden: You’re influenced by him just as a human. He was a really great human being. He’s like a bigger figure than just being some painter. I mean, he’s a visionary.

Leah Dickerman: You’ve just heard from collector and dealer Virginia Dwan, critic Calvin Tomkins, printmaker Sidney Felsen, and artist Brice Marden. Rauschenberg’s collaborations with artists, dancers, musicians, writers, engineers and even people who make cutting-edge technology, set the course for the art of the present day. Welcome to the exhibition, Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends.

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