Robert Rauschenberg. Breakthrough II. 1965

Robert Rauschenberg Breakthrough II 1965

  • Not on view

Rauschenberg enjoys the chance occurrences that take place in artmaking. During work on this print, one of his largest to date, the lithographic stone broke. He embraced the unexpected event, incorporating it into the work as a diagonal white line bisecting the composition.

Gallery label from Artistic Collaborations: 50 Years at Universal Limited Art Editions, January 17–May 21, 2007.
Additional text

Embracing the spirit of artistic collaboration that is typically involved in printmaking, Rauschenberg began making lithographs at the celebrated print workshop Universal Limited Art Editions, on Long Island, New York, in 1962. There he developed an inventive approach to the medium, using a solvent technique to dissolve and transfer photographic images from newspapers and magazines onto his lithographic printing surfaces. This process allowed him to freely combine fragments of images from a variety of sources. Here, for example, he merged found images (Diego Velázquez’s painting The Toilet of Venus [1647–51], the Statue of Liberty, and an eye chart, among others) with his own gestural marks. In the title, breakthrough refers to the crack that developed in the lithographic stone during the course of printing, which is visible here as a diagonal white line. It was an accident that, characteristically, Rauschenberg celebrated.

Gallery label from 2008.
Medium
Lithograph
Dimensions
composition (irreg.): 44 x 31 1/16" (111.8 x 78.9 cm); sheet: 48 1/2 x 34 1/8" (123.2 x 86.6 cm)
Publisher
Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York
Printer
Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York
Edition
34
Credit
Gift of the Celeste and Armand Bartos Foundation
Object number
813.1965
Copyright
© 2021 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Department
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].