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STOPGAP--Homage to Rauschenberg
Written by KALONSNET Editor   
Published: November 18 2009

Hara Museum installation view (front right: Robert Rauschenberg, Stopgap, 1964) photo: Keizo Kioku

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present the exhibition STOPGAP--Homage to Rauschenberg: Selections from the Hara Museum Collection. As a reflection of the museum’s long-term relationship with the artist that began with the exhibition Rauschenberg Print Exhibition held in 1982, the current show is being held in memory of the artist who passed away in 2008. Works by Rauschenberg and other artists of the same era were selected from the museum’s collection to form the core of a show that looks back on American art spanning the period from the mid-20th century to the present. It is said that in the year 1964 the center of the art world moved from Europe to America. This was symbolized by Rauschenberg’s winning of the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale, considered by many to be the Olympics of the art world. It was the first time the honor had gone to an American. Stopgap, which is part of the museum’s collection, was among those works shown in Venice at the time of the award. Consisting of various scenes such as the ocean landing of a Gemini space capsule and a Manhattan-like skyline silkscreened onto an abstract background painted in oils, Stopgap provides clear examples of features that are unique to Rauschenberg’s painting. These include the juxtaposition of things from the same era, the elimination of emotional expression, and the rejection of the hierarchic superiority enjoyed by painting within the history of art. Stopgap and other such works by Rauschenberg, who shot to fame overnight, became widely shown and acquired by museums throughout the world, greatly contributing to the sudden “Americanization” of world art. Immediately after winning the Grand Prize, having made up his mind not to repeat himself, Rauschenberg asked his assistant to destroy all of the silkscreen plates used in the making of his art up to that point. This makes Stopgap an invaluable resource for understanding that period of the artist’s career. In addition to Stopgap, the present show features other works by Rauschenberg such as Booster (1967), which was Rauschenberg’s first work of print art done in collaboration with the print workshop Gemini G.E.L., and Preview (1974), a work that he printed on silk, as well as works by artists such as Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol who were active during the same era, and by other contemporary American artists. * The text provided by Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.

Last Updated on October 24 2009

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