Coexistence (Primary Title)
“Painting relates to both art and life . . . (I try to act in that gap between the two.)” —Robert Rauschenberg
In the mid-1950s, Rauschenberg began using found objects, attaching some to his canvases and using others as supports for paintings. Rauschenberg called these work “combines,” hybrids of painting and sculpture.
His palette here is an assortment of materials salvaged from the street—a rusty baton, a medallion displaying a human tooth, fragments of a police barricade, and other items that evoke a human presence in an urban environment. Rauschenberg’s work fuses gestural painting and the flotsam of everyday life; some have called it a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.
Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, September 19, 1997 – January 11, 1998
Depth and Presence, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, May 3 – 30, 1971
Newport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CA, November 1966
Robert Rauschenberg, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY, March 31 – May 12, 1963
My Country, Tis of Thee, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, November 18 – December 15, 1962
Robert Rauschenberg, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, March 4 – 31, 1962
Robert Rauschenberg, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY, November 7 – December 5, 1961
 Lot #47, Contemporary Art sale of May 13, 1981. See auction catalogue.
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.