Floor 4, Collection Galleries
In 1959, Robert Rauschenberg wrote, “Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)” When Rauschenberg launched his career in the early 1950s, the heroic gestural painting of Abstract Expressionism was in its heyday. He challenged this tradition with an egalitarian approach to materials, bringing the stuff of the everyday world into his art. Often working in collaboration with artists, dancers, musicians, and writers, he invented new interdisciplinary modes of artistic practice that helped set the course for art of the present day. The ethos that permeates Rauschenberg’s work—openness to the world, commitment to dialogue and collaboration, and global curiosity—also makes him a touchstone for our time.
Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, the first 21st-century retrospective of the artist, presents over 250 works across mediums from his six-decade career. Collaboration was always critical to Rauschenberg, and his inclusiveness did not stop at the point of making; it often involved the viewer. “My whole area of art has always been addressed to working with other people,” he reflected. “Ideas are not real estate.” To highlight the importance of exchange for Rauschenberg, this exhibition is structured as an “open monograph”—as other artists came into Rauschenberg’s creative life, their work comes into these galleries, mapping the play of ideas.
The acclaimed artist and filmmaker Charles Atlas collaborated with the curatorial and design teams on the exhibition’s design to foreground Rauschenberg’s deep engagement with dance and performance. For many years, Atlas worked with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, as stage manager, lighting designer, and in-house filmmaker; in that capacity, he worked alongside Rauschenberg on some of the company’s productions.
The exhibition is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern, London.
Organized by Leah Dickerman, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, and Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions at Tate Modern, with Emily Liebert and Jenny Harris, Curatorial Assistants, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition design was created in collaboration with the artist Charles Atlas.
Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of Robert Rauschenberg.
The exhibition is supported at Tate Modern and The Museum of Modern Art by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Major support for the New York presentation is provided by Glenn and Eva Dubin, The Dana Foundation, Donald B. Marron, the Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund, Monique M. Schoen Warshaw, Mrs. Ronnie F. Heyman, Helen and Charles Schwab, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III in honor of Jerry I. Speyer, and by Tiffany & Co.
Generous funding is provided by west elm.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Alice and Tom Tisch, Glenn and Eva Dubin, The Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation, Inc., The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.
MoMA Audio+ is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.