Rauschenberg at Gemini
Sunday, Mar 21, 2010
Over nearly 35 years, Robert Rauschenberg produced over 250 different prints at Gemini G.E.L., the world-famous multiples workshop in Los Angeles, which was organized in 1966 and is still run by two of the founders, Sidney Felsen and Stanley Grinstein. At Gemini, Rauschenberg transformed what a “print” multiple was, not only in scale, but in how variable one print in a single edition could be from another; in how many physical dimensions it could have; in how many media a single multiple could involve; and in how the viewer could interact with the multiple and make it different. No other artist has ever pushed the boundaries of what “printmaking” could be as much as Rauschenberg. As Stanley Grinstein has said, “Rauschenberg taught us what Gemini could be.”
But it required a very special environment to make all these innovations and explorations possible – a place that not only had the technical facilities required, but the unwavering desire to facilitate the artist's vision, and the willingness to take risks as large as those of the artist. This is what Gemini so quickly became, shortly after Rauschenberg walked through the door in early 1967. The sense of exciting collaboration, and unwavering trust, continued into 2001.
Many of Rauschenberg’s most famous prints, print series, and multiples are included in the exhibition, such as Booster, the artist’s X-ray self-portrait and his first print at Gemini. Monumental lithographs from the Stoned Moon series, based on the American Apollo Moon exploration program, are represented, as well as his innovative Cardbird Door. Prints are also included from his two handmade paper series in the 1970s, as well his three-dimensional editions PUBLICONS, Sling-Shots Lit series, and Borealis Shares series.
A number of Rauschenberg’s prints were made with the assistance of Gemini G.E.L. staff in France, India, and China. And several series were inspired by his travels in connection with the internationally groundbreaking Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange that the artist initiated, including the Tibetan Keys and Locks and Samarkand Stitches. Finally, the artist often made prints for political or environmental causes, and his lithograph for the first Earth Day in 1970 is included, as well as for former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. Finally, a sizeable number of prints in the exhibition employ the artist’s photographs of Los Angeles, a city he came to love.
The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Debbie and Bernie Babcock, and Gemini G.E.L. ForYourArt is also a supporter of this exhibition, and has chosen it as a “Best of Los Angeles Art Month,” which is January 2010.
An extensive color-illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, including an essay by the curator on Rauschenberg’s work at Gemini G.E.L. The catalogue will be distributed by R.A.M. Publications, Santa Monica, and is also available at the Armory.
The music of iconic American composer John Cage will be performed in the well-suited environment of the multiples created by Cage’s friend Robert Rauschenberg. The first concert will include a performance of Cage’s landmark silent piece, 4’33”, a perfect finale to the Zen intent of his music. details
Stoned Moon Series
Sky Garden (1969)
6-color lithograph with screenprint
89” x 42”
Courtesy Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
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