Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends

*Automobile Tire Print*

Robert Rauschenberg with John Cage. Automobile Tire Print. 1953 8050

Robert Rauschenberg with John Cage. Automobile Tire Print, 1953. Tire-tread mark (front wheel) and tire-tread mark with house paint (rear wheel) made by Cage’s Ford Model A, driven by Cage over twenty sheets of typewriter paper fastened together with library paste, mounted on fabric. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis

Leah Dickerman: Here’s Robert Rauschenberg talking about this piece, Automobile Tire Print, which he made with his friend John Cage in 1953.

Rauschenberg: I was living on Fulton Street. Fulton Street is almost empty of any kind of traffic on the weekends. So I got some typewriter paper and glued them all together. And then I called John, and asked him, you know, like if he could come down on the weekend. And had some black house paint, which is what I was working with, And—And he drove down in his Model A. I poured it in—in front, and told him to drive just as straight as he could. You know, “Be careful,” I said, “Keep going straight,” you know? And—and John was fascinated by the fact that we were doing this. And he did a good job.

He was the printer and the press.

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