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© Adam Pendleton

Essays

Adam Pendleton on Robert Rauschenberg

At the 2019 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, Pace Gallery will present Echoes, pairing new works by contemporary artists with works by 20th century figures who have impacted the trajectory of art history up to the present moment.

One such pairing features Adam Pendleton alongside Robert Rauschenberg. Below is Pendleton's essay on two works by Rauschenberg, Luxer (Urban Bourbon) and Twister (Urban Bourbon), which will be featured in our booth at Art Basel Miami Beach.

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Robert Rauschenberg, Twister (Urban Bourbon), 1992, acrylic on enameled aluminum, 48” x 36” (121.9 cm x 91.4 cm) © 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Adam Pendleton

An image of a gesture, or a gesture of an image. In Luxer (Urban Bourbon) and Twister (Urban Bourbon), silkscreen prints are unsettled by the residual gestures beneath them: a splatter of pooled acrylic, a brushed ground. Accidents accumulate. These events complicate surface, making a problem of surface, or making surface into a problem. The prints struggle to adhere. An image as a gesture, or a gesture as an image. There is reflection, too; mirrored aluminum, tinted and slightly warped, in which one can catch a glimpse of one’s own foggy face, “behind” the surface. Surface recedes into reflective depths, and at the same time issues forth as the accumulated ink of prints pulled quickly, leaving bubbles and cuts in the image. In Luxer, a domestic interior, lampshade and wallpaper, a whimsical pattern, children playing musical instruments. In Twister, an exploded domestic architectonics: wood fencing, ironwork, roofs, walls, the view from a window. These are photographs, perhaps from a personal collection, but they do not readily catalog experiences. The encounters occur on the surface. Are we outside or inside the image?

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Robert Rauschenberg, Luxer (Urban Bourbon), 1988, acrylic on mirrored aluminum, 48-7/8” × 48-7/8” (124.1 cm × 124.1 cm) 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Essays — Adam Pendleton on Robert Rauschenberg, Nov 26, 2019