Robert Rauschenberg. Gluts

14 October 2009 – 17 January 2010

Parallel to the exhibition "Rauschenberg – Jean Tinguely. Collaborations" the museum is presenting Rauschenberg’s work group Gluts (1986-89 and 1991-95). The title takes its name from the glut of oil on the market at the time which caused a major economic recession in the southern states of the USA, as a result of which rusting metal parts were to be found spread over the countryside. These inspired Rauschenberg to turn once again, as in his younger years, to the scrap heap.

The Gluts are assemblages of found objects such as petrol station signs, road signs and directions, automobile and industrial scrap – relics of either sheer, or rusty or varnished metal. They recall the earlier groundbreaking Combines of the late 1950s in which the artist developed for the first time the aesthetic potential of such “Readymades” in combination with painting. This large, lesser well known group of works represents an extraordinary phase of creativity in the artist’s late career. Produced already 20 years ago, they have not lost any of their freshness, nor of the expressivity of their paint and material.

The exhibition has been curated by Susan Davidson (Guggenheim Museum, New York) and David White (Estate of Robert Rauschenberg) and was shown at a first venue at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. The ensemble of forty sculptures on loan from international museums and private collections illustrate Rauschenberg’s openness and lack of prejudice in front of the beauty of these “objets trouvés”, detritus of our civilisation.

The exhibition “Robert Rauschenberg : Gluts” was organised by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.

The catalogue Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts appears in a German edition with a preface by Roland Wetzel, a foreword by Richard Armstrong and Philip Rylands, an introduction by Susan Davidson and David White, and essays by Susan Davidson, Mimi Thompson and Trisha Brown. Guggenheim Publications, New York, 2009, 120 pp., numerous black & white and colour illustrations, CHF 42.-