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Intaglio with photogravure on Arches paper. Signed, numbered and dated in pencil
Robert Rauschenberg, an American born in 1925, started producing painterly prints in the early 1960s that contained pictures he cut out of magazines and newspapers. Nearly ten years prior, he had created pieces he dubbed “Combines,” which are fusions of painting and sculpture that embrace the noise of daily life and contrast the solitary canvases of abstract expressionism. The ordinary was also introduced in Rauschenberg’s prints in a variety of ways, such as the water ring left by a drinking glass, the embossment from a coin, or the traced contour of a cane. By reintroducing representation into the avant-garde, the artist revived a vibrant visual language. “What he invented above all was…a graphic surface that let the world in again,” wrote art historian Leo Steinberg.