The Blurring of Art and Life showcases works on paper, including lithographs, silkscreens, screen prints, and collage, by neo-Dada artists Robert Rauschenbergand Jasper Johns that present a lesser-known side of their artistic practices. These works detail a fascinating visual conversation between two of modern art’s most influential creators, evident in their comparable use of collage and mixed media in service of multiple, often uncertain, meanings.
Robert Rauschenberg, Poster for Dayton’s Gallery 12, 1970. Offset lithograph on paper. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of the Family of Lee W. Werhan. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Robert Rauschenberg, Sack (Stoned Moon), 1969. Lithograph. From an edition of 60, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Jack E. Brown. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Rauschenberg and Johns met in 1953 in New York City. The two artists created alongside each other and collaborated for years, first as friends and then as romantic partners from 1954 to 1961. Both artists also spent time at the workshop Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited) in Los Angeles, which influenced their mutually collaborative approach to printmaking. As a result, they inevitably grew to create art that bears obvious similarities. Evident in the prints on display, Rauschenberg and Johns often stacked images upon images to create visually complex compositions that suggest meanings that are fluid, if not wholly undefined. Rauschenberg and Johns: The Blurring of Art and Life is organized by Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Museum’s annual fund.
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