Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil. Untitled (Double Rauschenberg). c.1950
Leah Dickerman: Double Rauschenberg was one of the blueprints that Rauschenberg made with artist Sue Weil, his wife. And it was made after the first stint that they had at Black Mountain College, a liberal arts college that encouraged experimentation and an unconventional use of materials.
One of the questions that they're asking themselves in making this work is, how can you make a mark on a paper besides brushing a stroke of paint? And that’s a question that occupies Rauschenberg throughout his career.
Here is Sue Weil.
Susan Weil: The idea of it is, you’re using the sun, that’s the medium, and the unexposed blueprint paper.
Leah Dickerman: They took turns positioning themselves on paper and then holding up a light to expose the surrounding areas.
Susan Weil: You could draw with light, because where you aimed it is where the paper got the whitest. It was just so magical.
We went to the Museum of Modern Art and Edward Steichen was the head of the photography at that time. We showed him some blueprints, and he just loved them and talked about a camera-less photography. And we just had a great old time. And he showed a blueprint in the museum—a contemporary photography show. So that was very exciting for us.