Trio of Robert Rauschenberg shows attempt to reignite exhaustively inventive artist’s market


Robert Rauschenberg is one of the few artists who was truly legendary in their own time. But history was more friendly to him than the secondary market. If the collector is willing to pay extra for his silkscreen and combine painting, they add great value to the work of his companions Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly.

That’s why Rauschenberg’s foundation of the same name sells many unknown and underexposed works through a trio of Gladstone and Mnuchin in New York and Sadaeus Ropac in Salzburg. Each presents different works in different environments and creates separate exhibition catalogs accordingly.

Such collaborations between competitors are not unheard of, but in 2020 Pace, Gagosian and Aquabella jointly represented the Donald B. Maron Family Collection on a private sale, especially if it included an exhibition. It’s rare. The question is whether this three-pronged strategy can really change the perception of the best-known artist in his paintings. Did his diversion of existing materials and collaboration with scientists and choreographers lead to collage, performance, film, sound, set and costume design, and dynamic sculpture work?

Robert Rauschenberg Drawing room 1 (Japanese recreation clay work)(1982) at Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg. Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

According to Alan Schwartzman, the adviser and private curator who led the rollout, “it can take some time for the art market to catch up with history.” Undoubtedly, Rauschenberg is more than anyone else who continues to influence posterity artists, some of which are more in the market than their inspiration.

“I can’t think of an artist as visionary as Bob,” says Kathy Halbreich, director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. As an example, she cites her current interest in diversion, textiles, clay, performance, film, technology and the environment among artists of all ages and sensibilities who borrow from Rauschenberg every time she enters the studio. increase.

Dozens of people flocked to two spaces in Gladstone in Chelsea during the opening round last month Robert Rauschenberg: Venetian and Early Egyptians, 1972-1974 I was visibly impressed with what they saw. A seemingly fragile but revelatory sculpture of rope, paperboard, and wood, each containing numerous ideas. Most of these works have been rarely published since they were produced. It seems unlikely that historical things were overlooked on this late date. “I spent a lot of time on these pieces in the warehouse, but seeing them in the gallery was a completely different experience,” says Schwartzman.

The sensation of surprise imbued the atmosphere of the subsequent dinner. There, Rauschenberg’s ingenuity and the dominant spirit of openness to others had many beneficiaries around the room. Perhaps most striking was the lack of collectors among the 85 artists, curators and writers. It’s not that they deserve to stand at the table, but perhaps because it grew from a common foundation, the conversation flow was significantly relaxed.

Indeed, directly from Rauschenberg to talents such as Rauschenberg, Matthew Barney, Jeddy Siboney, Richard Aldrich, Ugo Rondinone, Paul Chan, and Precious Okoyomon with lap dog gravity. I was able to draw a line. Rauschenberg’s son, photographer, mother-printer and painter Susan Weil, the only child Christopher, was also seated at dinner.

According to Halbrich, “Artists don’t always like to talk about what happened before them, but that night they all did. Ratoya Ruby Frazier isn’t in production. I came from Chicago to see this work born from my life.

I was sitting by Eric N. Mack, a young textile artist who claims Rauschenberg as a spiritual mentor. Especially after Mack was given an artist’s studio during his stay at the Foundation in Captiva, Florida. “I did the best job there in my life,” he told me. Indeed, he recently signed with a prestigious gallery in Chelsea.

Installation drawing Robert Rauschenberg: Exceptional work, 1971-1999At Mnuchin Gallery, New York.. Courtesy of Mnuchin Gallery.

Talking about Rauschenberg’s commercial outlook on display today, the large walled work at Mnuchin, the post-minimalist sculpture at Gladstone, and the lesser-known diversion to clay at Lopac. , Made on a trip to Japan for over 10 years. : “It’s hard for the market to get an artist whose work isn’t registered as symbolic. In Rauschenberg’s case, it’s a combination, but his creativity is vast and agile. These exhibitions open the door to him in a fresh and clear contemporary way where the market can be connected. “

Halbrich adds: “I believe in artists. People pay attention when artists are interested in other artists.”

•• Robert Rauschenberg: Venetian and Early Egyptians, 1972-1974, Gladstone Gallery, New York, until June 18th. Robert Rauschenberg: Exceptional Works, 1971-1999, Mnuchin Gallery, New York, until June 11th. Robert Rauschenberg: Japanese clay workGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, until July 9th


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