Rauschenberg’s passion for the world, and for bringing that world into his paintings, can be clearly seen in this work. It forms part of the series of Elemental Paintings he began at his Fulton Street studio in New York in 1953, using base materials such as dirt, grass, clay and tissue paper to create highly tactile works that challenged the belief that some materials – such as paint – are better tools for creating art than others.
Untitled (Gold Painting)
34.9 x 33.7 x 4.4 cm
Date of work
Original: Gold leaf on fabric, newspaper, and glue on canvas, in wood-and-glass frame 34.9 x 33.7 x 4.4 cm Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (New York, USA) © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / DACS
One of the most influential figures of twentieth-century art, Robert Rauschenberg was a pioneering artist who ultimately challenged perceptions of what art could be. Born in Texas in 1925 he later moved to New York, where he created many of his best-known works. Endlessly curious and inventive, his work ranged from painting and sculpture to performance and dance. His refusal to accept existing boundaries of what was considered art led him to continually experiment with new techniques, from innovative printing methods to incorporating found objects and detritus in his works. This radical approach prefigured pop art and inspired generations of conceptual artists in the decades that followed.