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Robert Rauschenberg
Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games (with COA from Olympic Committee)

1982

About the Item

Robert Rauschenberg Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games (with COA from Olympic Committee), 1982 Offset Lithograph on Parson's Diploma paper Stamp (plate) signed with the artist's initials on the lower front 24 × 36 inches Unframed Robert Rauschenberg was drawn to poster design throughout his career, viewing the medium as a unique opportunity to collaborate with printmakers and reach a larger audience. Rauschenberg’s posters are rarely legible at first glance and require repeat viewing to uncover their many hidden symbols and details. Composed of layered images and text, Rauschenberg’s first poster was a black-and-white advertisement for his first retrospective at the Jewish Museum in 1963, and he continued to create exhibition posters throughout his life. “We were doing a poster for every show, and those posters were going out all over the country, and people were thinking we must be this amazing gallery instead of a freight elevator,” Rauschenberg remembered of this era. Over the next 35 years, the artist created over 100 posters celebrating iconic historical moments, including the first landing on the moon and the first Earth Day, in his signature collage aesthetic. Robert Rauschenberg's fragmented photographic collage called “Star in Motion” was selected as the official poster for the XXIII Olympiad Summer Games in Los Angeles. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the publisher on Olympic Committee letterhead. This is one of 750 lithographic posters, published in 1982 to celebrate the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics . The Olympic Committee commissioned 15 nationally known artists, including to create unique designs to promote the event. This was Rauschenberg's contribution to the portfolio. In 2017, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne Switzerland featured the entire portfolio: “The 1980s were marked by non-conformism, eccentricity, audacity and joie de vivre,” say the exhibition organizers, “All these elements are clearly expressed in the stylistic vocabulary chosen by the organizers of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, with its fun approach and acid colors.” The present work is unframed and in fine condition; excellent provenance as it was acquired as part of the complete portfolio of limited edition Olympic prints, all held in the original box with colophon and authenticity documentation. This will be the first time the print has been removed from the suite for separate sale. All of the works in this rare portfolio, including this Rauschenbergare unnumbered, but published in a limited edition of 750. This one is stamp signed in black marker with Rauschenberg's initials. Copyright 1982 Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee, Published by Knapp Communications Corporation. Provenance: Acquired as part of the complete 1984 Olympic Lithographic Poster Portfolio of 15 prints, in the original box with colophon and Certificate of Authenticity. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the publisher on Olympic Committee letterhead. Exhibition History: Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, 2017 (different portfolio) Robert Rauschenberg biography: Robert Rauschenberg ushered in a new era of postwar American art in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. His approach, along with that of his contemporary Jasper Johns, was sometimes termed “Neo-Dada,” due to its relation to both European forebears and the physical gestures of American Abstract Expressionists. His Combine works (1954 to early 1960s) blurred the distinctions between painting and sculpture, as their flat surfaces were augmented with discarded materials and appropriated images. Rauschenberg also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance, the last of which resulted in a number of collaborations with choreographers, including Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Trisha Brown. Rauschenberg was among the founding members of the innovative group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) in 1966, and in 1984 he established the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) to bring art to communities around the world, saying, “I feel strong in my beliefs, based on my varied and widely traveled collaborations, that a one-to-one contact through art contains potent peaceful powers, and is the most non-elitist way to share exotic and common information, seducing us into creative mutual understandings for the benefit of all.” Rauschenberg’s nontraditional art practice and creative energy generated an enduring influence that impacted generations of artists, as noted by art historian Branden W. Joseph: “Rauschenberg’s was a position with which artists across the board were confronted and to which they almost necessarily had to respond. … Rauschenberg’s work served as a stimulus, an impetus and a challenge.” Robert Rauschenberg was born in 1925, in Port Arthur, Texas and died on Captiva Island, Florida in 2008. He has had numerous exhibitions worldwide, including “Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1997, traveled to Menil Collection, Contemporary Arts Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, through 1999); “Combines,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2005, traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2007); “Cardboards and Related Pieces,” Menil Collection, Houston (2007); “Traveling ‘70–‘76,” Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto (2008, traveled to Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Madre, Naples in 2009); “Gluts,” The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2009, traveled to The Tinguely Museum, Basel, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese in 2010); and “Botanical Vaudeville,” Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (2011). -Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery
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