Today, April 22, Pace is pleased to celebrate Earth Day. Initiated in 1970 as a small grass-roots movement, Earth Day is now observed in nearly 200 countries around the world, bringing public awareness to the threat of global air and water pollution. Pictured here is the first-ever Earth Day poster, designed by Robert Rauschenberg in 1970 to benefit the American Environment Foundation in Washington, D.C.
"Robert Rauschenberg designed the first Earth Day poster to benefit the American Environment Foundation in Washington, D.C., and it was published in an edition of 10,300 by Castelli Graphics, New York. Using the bald eagle as the dominant image, the artist symbolically placed the United States at the center of a global problem. Muted and muddy tones depicting environmental decay surround the national bird: polluted cities, contaminated waters, junkyards littered with debris, landscapes scarred by highways and deforestation, and the gorilla, another endangered animal. The safekeeping of the environment and the notion of individual responsibility for the welfare of life on earth was a longstanding concern of Rauschenberg, and this notion would inform his art and activism throughout his life. The poster designed for the inaugural Earth Day was one of many he would create to raise funds for the myriad social causes that were important to him."—The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
For more information on Rauschenberg's work supporting Earth Day, please visit the Foundation's website.