Rauschenberg in China
One of the most influential and prolific American artists of the C.20th, Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a painter, sculptor and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the Pop Art movement. Known for combining alternative materials and objects in art, and for incorporating images of the everyday world, he was also one of the first Western artists to exhibit in China.
Rauschenberg’s solo 1985 showcase exposed Chinese artists to non-traditional methods for the first time. More than three decades later, UCCA (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art) presents ‘Rauschenberg in China’ in the Great Hall, centred on the artist’s seminal mixed-media The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981-98). A vibrant 191-part composition stretching for 305 metres, it’s a self-contained retrospective, referencing his White Paintings and Combines, while including collages of found imagery, silkscreens, patterned clothing and objects salvaged from junkyards, plus his own photography and recorded street sounds.
Art fiends can also devour a selection of Rauschenberg’s colour photos titled Studies for Chinese Summerhall, taken during his 1982 travels in China, as well as documentation and ephemera from his 1985 ‘ROCI China’ exhibition. That period became known as the country’s ’85 New Wave’, influencing emerging local artists, just as China inspired Rauschenberg.
With Rauschenberg retrospectives coming up at London’s Tate Modern (1 Dec, 2016 – 2 Apr, 2017) and New York’s MoMA (21 May – 4 Sep, 2017), it’s time to celebrate this boundary-breaking talent in China too!
12 Jun – 21 Aug, 2016.UCCA / 798 Art District / 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu / Chaoyang / +86 10 5780 0200 / 10am-6.30pm daily / ucca.org.cn