Robert Rauchenberg: A Window to China

Robert Rauchenberg: A Window to China

Gammel Holtegaard

January 13, 2017
Robert Rauchenberg
A Window to China
“The Lotus Series”
January 20–April 17, 2017
Opening: January 19, 5–7pm
Gammel Holtegaard
Attemosevej 170
DK-2840 Holte
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–5pm,
Thursday 12–8pm

T +45 46 11 58 88
Facebook / Instagram

Robert Rauschenberg is one of the great American artists. He incorporated “everyday life” into pictures, sculptures, paintings and collages that radically transformed Western art from the 1950s to the present. “The Lotus Series,” Rauschenberg’s final graphic piece from 2008, will be presented at Gl. Holtegaard from January 20, 2017 through April 17, 2017. This exhibition is made possible with the cooperation of Kevin Pottorf, Rauschenberg’s assistant for the last ten years of the artist’s life, and Florence Tone, assistant curator who acted as intermediary to initiate this endeavor.

For the first time in Denmark
The exhibition highlights Robert Rauschenberg’s (1925–2008) immense artistic interest in China and examines an idealistic artist whose profound conviction to the arts had him constantly searching for new ways to utilize art as a potential lever for intercultural dialogue. During a trip to China in 1982, Rauschenberg took almost 500 photographs as a travel diary. From this compilation of photographs, Rauschenberg found material for the two collections that are on exhibition at Gl. Holtegaard. This collection has never before been presented in Denmark. “Studies for Chinese Summerhall” (1983), a photo series comprised of ten original prints (38 x 38 cm), is characterized by simple and precise compositions where “everyday” scenes of Chinese life are on display.

“The Lotus Series” was created concurrent with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The series consists of 12 digital prints—ten are printed as photogravure—with an overlapping juxtaposition of photos depicting ordinary scenes from Chinese cities, such as markets, streets, harbor, trains, alleys, etc. Each photogravure is supplemented with the distinctive Chinese lotus flower.

The collections’ Chinese origin is brought into perspective from an archived BBC documentary and a Danish documentary taken from Danish Broadcasting Corporation. The exhibition examines Rauschenberg’s immersion into a country that would form the basis of his artistic practice from his first trip to China in 1982 until his last graphic work in 2008.

Rauschenberg the Idealist
During his trip to China, Rauschenberg experienced the state-controlled cultural obscurity, which became the catalyst for a project he dreamed of: an international traveling exhibition called Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI). His ambition was to create transcultural meetings through exhibitions of his own art in 11 totalitarian and politically closed countries. From 1984 to 1991, Rauschenberg himself financed the project by selling pieces from his private collection to keep the project free of political and economic interests. In correlation with the worldview of the Cold War, his vision was to provide an exhibition as both a window for the outside world to a closed country while simultaneously presenting the culture of a local population in a new light. He managed to produce travel exhibitions in 11 countries, including Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, China, Tibet, Japan, Cuba, USSR, Malaysia, Germany and USA.

The exhibitions contributors and collaborators
Kevin Pottorf, Robert Rauschenberg’s assistant for the last ten years of the artist’s life, is loaning “The Lotus Series” to Gl. Holtegaard. A visual artist himself, Pottorf worked side by side with Rauschenberg and helped transform the artist’s ideas into graphic works following Rauschenberg’s instructions. Assistant curator Florence Tone established and facilitated the contact between Gl. Holtegaard and Kevin Pottorf to make this exhibition possible. Ms. Tone has a history in Holte and with Denmark, as she was formerly married to a Dane. In addition, the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum loaned the photograph collection “Studies for Chinese Summerhall.” The exhibition is supported by the S.C. Van Fund and the Politiken Fund. Gl. Holtegaard’s two-year exhibition program is also supported by Danish Arts Foundation.

More information about the exhibition contact Gl. Holtegaard’s director / exhibition curator Maria Gadegaard: mgad [​at​] / T +45 45 80 08 78 or Press & Communications Officer Nina Peitersen: ninp [​at​] / T +45 45 80 08 78

RSVP for Robert Rauchenberg: A Window to China
Gammel Holtegaard
January 13, 2017

Thank you for your RSVP.

Gammel Holtegaard will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.