Home > Blog > Robert Rauschenberg – The Kido Press Story  Part 2

Robert Rauschenberg – The Kido Press Story  Part 2

August 28 (Fri.) – October 3 (Sat.), 2015

Following “Part 1,” which was devoted to Jasper Johns, “Part 2” of “The Kido Press Story” features Robert Rauschenberg. Taking the relationship between Rauschenberg and photography as its theme, it will exhibit copperplate prints produced by photogravure.

Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008)

Born in 1925, Robert Rauschenberg ranks alongside Jasper Johns as a leading exponent of 20th-century modern American art. A legendary artist in various ways, he had a tremendous influence on numerous figures who have already left or will leave their names in world art history, from Andy Warhol and other artists who were his contemporaries to those of the present day. He lived and worked in a phase of transition, when new art movements were emerging to follow the abstract expressionism in the immediate postwar period. Grappling with the issues of non-artistry and materialism in the 1960s, at the dawn of contemporary American art, he transcended the boundaries of Neo-Dadaism and achieved a historic expansion of artistic horizons.

Although they resembled collages, Rauschenberg himself termed his works “combines,” because they combined various media and articles. He collected objects that had been thrown away on the street and put them together on his canvas in layers, as if he were painting them there. He released a steady stream of these experimental, category-defying works, which were neither paintings nor sculptures. Pulling down the barriers between art and life, they were assemblages of discarded everyday items, printed matter, trash, and just plain junk. Led by these signature “combined paintings,” Rauschenberg’s output is a wide-ranging one. Inspired by the way John Cage used the elements of chance and uncertainty in his music, Rauschenberg created many works that incorporate haphazard occurrence, most importantly his lithograph entitled Accident, which he printed in spite of a large crack that fissured the lithostone matrix in the process of its production.


Robert Rauschenberg “Street Sounds” 1992, Etching and photogravure, Paper size: 116.8 x 139.7 cm (46 x 55 in.)
Robert Rauschenberg “Street Sounds” 1992, Etching and photogravure, Paper size: 116.8 x 139.7 cm (46 x 55 in.)


This exhibit takes a retrospective look at the relationship between Rauschenberg and photography keyed by the words “combines” and “contingency.” It centers around the Street Sounds series and the Ground Rules series. The former constituted a new avenue in printing; color photographic images were resolved using the CMYK color model in order to produce prints with plates in each of these four colors. Works from the latter series were produced through the completely new approach of making several plates from monochrome photos per print, and then printing with them in mutually different colors. The comparative display of these two series from the 1990s is bound to afford a precious glimpse of the spirit of energetic experimentation that animated Rauschenberg, who conjoined photographic images and restructured them in printed works. The exhibit will comprise about seven large prints created through photogravure.


Gallery KIDO Press
New address: 3331 Arts Chiyoda 204, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021
Tel & Fax: +81(0)3-5817-8988   E-mail: [email protected]com   Web: www.kidopress.com
Gallery hours: 12:00–19:00   Closed on Monday, Tuesday, and National Holidays
* During the run of this exhibition, the gallery will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.