Robert Rauschenberg (Part Two: Collage, Ex 2.1)

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was an American artist whose works, using traditional and found materials, forged a path for the pop-art movement of the ’60s (Lancher, 2009).

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Rauschenberg studied at Kansas City Art Institute, then at Academie Julien Paris. In 1948, he attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he studied under Josef Albers, and befriended fellow artist Jasper Johns (Tompkins, 2005).

The works I find most interesting are from the mid-1950s, when Rauschenberg began using non-traditional items in works he called ‘combines’ (Tompkins, 2005).

Bed (1955)

Combine: oil and pencil on pillow, quilt, and sheet, mounted on wood support 75 1/4 x 31 1/2 x 8 inches (191.1 x 80 x 20.3 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Leo Castelli in honor of Alfred H. Barr Jr.

While Rauschenberg himself claimed to worry people would “want to crawl in it” (Lancher, 2009, p.14), the work is actually very violent. The pillow and sheets have agitated pencil marks, with  bold, splattered oil paint dripping down the quilt. It leaves me feeling unsettled, as though something horrific occurred.

Bantam (1955)

Combine: oil, paper, printed reproductions, cardboard, fabric, and graphite on canvas 11 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches (29.5 x 37.1 cm) The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, Los Angeles

The contrast between the NY Yankees across the bottom of the work and the feminine references on the top half are divided by cardboard. The photo of Judy Garland is covered by sheer white gauze, and the reclining woman, by red gauze (a reference to the fact that she’s posing nude?). The slashes of yellow and red paint drips to combine or link the masculine and feminine images.

Rebus (1955)

Combine: oil, synthetic polymer paint, pencil, crayon, pastel, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers, including a drawing by Cy Twombly, and fabric on canvas mounted and stapled to fabric Three panels: 96 x 131 1/8 x 1 3/4 inches (243.8 x 333.1 x 4.4 cm) overall The Museum of Modern Art, New York Partial and promised gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and purchase

This is perhaps my favorite work of those I’ve seen. The division between the three panels form vertical lines, while the image forms a horizontal line, enforced and supported by a shelf-like row of small colored squares. Near each end are photos of runners. Are they in the same race, and do the pictures and colors in between represent obstacles they must over come? It reminds me of graffiti on a city wall, with the bold, dripping colors and partial printed papers. “THAT REPRE” in the upper left is intriguing. That represents? Represses?

I chose Rauschenberg to research because his works fascinates me and he had such an impact on modern art, but also because he’s a fellow Texan. He was a very prolific and diverse artist: a painter, sculpture, printer, as well as his combines using photography, print and found objects. It’s very difficult to assess art in books and online. I look forward to our NYC visit in October, when I can go to MOMA and see some of Rauschenberg’s works in person.

ETA 9/28/17: Be sure to check out the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit!

 

Reference:
Lancher, C. (2009) Robert Rauschenberg. New York: The Museum of Modern Art
Tompkins, C. (2005) Off the wall. New York: Picador
http://www.biography.com/people/robert-rauschenberg-9452410
http://www.robertrauschenbergfoundation.org
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Assignment One

Here’s a selection of work from the Warm-Up and Part One:Line sections:

Warm Up

IMG_1691IMG_1694IMG_1688

Back and white ink

Back and white ink

 

Black ink backgroun, white ink on top.

Black ink background, white ink on top.

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Part One:Line

Ex 1.1, Stage 1 Left Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 1
Left Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 2 Right Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 2
Right Hand, Graphite

 

 

 

 

 

Ex 1.1, Stage 3 Right Hand, Ink

Ex 1.1, Stage 3
Right Hand, Ink

Ex 1.1, Stage 3 Left Hand, Ink

Ex 1.1, Stage 3
Left Hand, Ink

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

Ex 1.2, Stage 1 Continuous Line Graphite & Ink Pen

Ex 1.2, Stage 1
Continuous Line
Graphite & Ink Pen

Ex 1.2, Stage 2 Continuous Line, Charcoal

Ex 1.2, Stage 2
Continuous Line, Charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex 1.3, Stage 1 Drawing Blind

Ex 1.3, Stage 1
Drawing Blind

Ex 1.3, Stage 2 Drawing From Memory

Ex 1.3, Stage 2
Drawing From Memory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 IMG_1759IMG_1761

Ex 1.4 Black & White ink, white charcoal, watercolor

Ex 1.4
Black & White ink, white charcoal, watercolor

 

Ex 1.4 Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

Ex 1.4
Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

 

Ex 1.4 Black ink, white charcoal, oil pastel

Ex 1.4
Black ink, white charcoal, oil pastel

 

Summary

The warm up exercises helped me feel more confident about trying different mediums and tools, and not worry about whether or not I draw well, but more about using the different mediums creatively. I also moved from using my sketchbook solely to sketch with pencils, and more to experiment with different ideas and techniques, and I can see this being very important for future projects. (Originally in this  post)

  The focus in Part One on drawing the same objects many times over, using different techniques (especially drawing from memory),  is a valuable practice in improving observational skills. Exercises such as drawing blind and continuous line freed me from worrying about the ‘perfect’ drawing.  The final exercise (detailed in the previous post) opened up a more creative way of working, beyond simply sketching what I see, but thinking more about emotional or representational  interpretations.

I’m looking forward to moving on in the course, and using what I’ve learned so far in the next exercises.

Part One: Line, Ex. 1.4

Final Drawing Selection

I spent a great deal of time preparing for this exercise, perhaps over-thinking it ?!

IMG_1759 IMG_1760 IMG_1761

 

 

IMG_1757IMG_1758

 

 

 

 

I decided on one object/drawing, linked by a feeling of action & emotion, as well as use of line only for the object, but color for any additional items. Here are the six results, in order of preference:

Ex 1.4 Black & White ink, white charcoal, watercolor

Ex 1.4, Angry Whisk
Black & White ink, white charcoal, watercolor

 

 

 

Ex 1.4 Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

Ex 1.4, Agitated reamer
Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

 

Ex 1.4 Black ink, white charcoal, oil pastel

Ex 1.4, Playful spoons
Black ink, white charcoal, oil pastel

 

Ex 1.4 Charcoal, oil pastel

Ex 1.4, Tired grater
Charcoal, oil pastel

 

Ex 1.4 Charcoal, graphite, oil pastel

Ex 1.4, Celebratory sieve
Charcoal, graphite, oil pastel

 

Ex 1.4 Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

Ex 1.4, Defeated cup
Charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor

I like the first three drawings, but the last three are a bit disappointing.

The idea for using mood in the pictures came from the blind drawings that looked almost personified. I used many of the techniques tried earlier, such blind drawing and continuous line, in executing the pieces.

I felt I made better observations than I might have previously, such as understanding the perspective shift when changing an object’s actual shape.

I enjoyed a chance to be a bit more creative with line, and adding other media and color.

 

 

Part One: Line, Ex 1.3

Drawing Blind and From Memory

 

Ex 1.3, Stage 1 Drawing Blind

Ex 1.3, Stage 1
Drawing Blind

With all expectations of producing a ‘good’ drawing removed, drawing without looking at the paper was fun. I love some of the results, as they a have a certain whimsy that I find appealing.

Close up

Close up

Especially this little guy, he seems like a sketch for a character from the Be Our Guest scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!

Ex 1.3, Stage 2 Drawing From Memory

Ex 1.3, Stage 2
Drawing From Memory

I was amazed that, after all the times I drew that damn measuring cup, after studying it closely for a minute immediately before, that when it came time, I couldn’t remember how the handle attachment actually looked!

I was truly surprised by this, and thought it a good lesson on observation, though drawing blind was definitely the method I preferred.

Part One: Line, Ex 1.2

Continuous Line

Ex 1.2, Stage 1 Continuous Line Graphite & Ink Pen

Ex 1.2, Stage 1
Continuous Line
Graphite & Ink Pen

Drawing in one continuous line was surprisingly fun, and in some ways gave me a better result.

Perhaps by forcing me to commit to the lines, and removing some of the hesitancy I usually have in drawing?

Ex 1.2, Stage 2 Continuous Line, Ink Pen (SC)

Ex 1.2, Stage 2
Continuous Line, Ink Pen (SC)

Ex 1.2, Stage 2 Continuous Line, Charcoal

Ex 1.2, Stage 2
Continuous Line, Charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two used the word prompts from previous exercises. With the whisk, I simply tried to give a feel of it in action.

I drew the measuring cup in one line,then the sieve in another, but cheated a bit with the pouring!

I like the boldness ink gives, and I think the continuous line is a method I will use in the future.

Part One: Line, Ex 1.1

Right Hand, Left Hand

Or the reverse in my case, as I’m left-handed:

Ex 1.1, Stage 1 Left Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 1
Left Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 3 Left Hand, Ink

Ex 1.1, Stage 3
Left Hand, Ink

 

 

Right Hand:

Ex 1.1, Stage 2 Right Hand, Graphite

Ex 1.1, Stage 2
Right Hand, Graphite

 

Ex 1.1, Stage 3 Right Hand, Ink

Ex 1.1, Stage 3
Right Hand, Ink

I hated using my RH, as I had no control at all! Sadly, I don’t actually draw that much better with my LH. On the bright side, there’s nowhere to go but up…

Large Scale

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

Ex 1.1, Stage 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the last stage, I used my left hand on both. For the sieve, I drew iit in oil pastel, then used a watercolor wash on top. The grated was outlined in masking fluid, with charcoal around it. After the fluid was removed, I added the charcoal inside.

I obviously preferred using my left hand. I find that when I use the graphite, I tend to make more timid marks, which isn’t really an option with other media, such as ink. I liked working at a smaller scale, but I feel that’s probably due to my lack of confidence drawing more than anything else.