Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts
February 13 – September 12, 2010
Curators: Susan Davidson
and David WhiteVenues: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Museum Tinguely, Basel; and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Galleries: 301, 302, 303, and 304
Nearly two years after the death of Robert Rauschenberg, May 12, 2008, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao celebrates the memory of this great artist with the exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts. Comprised of approximately forty works, this exhibition, on view February 13 through September 12, 2010, presents a little known body of Rauschenberg’s work in metal drawn from the holdings of the Rauschenberg Estate, with additional loans from institutions and private collections from various countries.
Robert Rauschenberg shifted his artistic attention toward the exploration of the visual properties of metal after his experiments in his Combines, in which he combined bi-dimensional painting with sculpture in the late 1950s, the exploration of technologic art in the 1960s, and his emphasis on natural fibers such as paper, cardboard, and fabric in the seventies. In 1986, Rauschenberg began to assemble casted metal objects and to experiment with his own photographic images, printed in aluminum, bronze, brass, or copper. His aim was to capture the reflective, sculptural, thematic, and textural possibilities of the material. The artist continued to work intermittently following this new method until 1995.
In November 1998, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao hosted the most comprehensive retrospective to date on this gifted American artist. The show was a highlight of the international exhibition calendar given the quantity and quality of the works displayed, which emphasized the extraordinary beauty of the formats presented in Frank Gehry’s recently designed spaces and gave rise to a fascinating language of dialogues and disciplines. Eleven years after that great retrospective, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has now come full circle with Gluts, the last series on which the artist worked before his death.