Rauschenberg's Rolleiflex

The Legendary American Artist’s Photographs of Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns and More

Best remembered for his silkscreen paintings and Coke bottle sculptures, Robert Rauschenberg deserves a closer look for his lesser-known photographs, a portfolio of which we present here. Rarely without his trusty Rolleiflex camera, the proto-pop artist documented extraordinary moments throughout his life, from his student days at Black Mountain College with Merce Cunningham and John Cage, through travels to Rome and Venice with close friends including Cy Twombly, and at his Brooklyn Studio in the early 60s. Rauschenberg’s black and white images starkly convey a sense of spontaneity, with his subjects often caught on the fly, as illustrated in the shots of Twombly wandering around the relics at Rome’s Capitoline Museum, or Cunningham flexing his limbs in his New York rehearsal space. “The brilliance of his mind and his eye are a continual wonder,” says Robert Rauschenberg Foundation curator David White, who co-edited the comprehensive new book Robert Rauschenberg: Photographs 1949-1962. “He would see things and just bring new life and new light to them.”

Robert Rauschenberg: Photographs 1949-1962 is released in early October. An installation of the work will be shown at Robert Rauschenberg Foundation from September 16 to October 3.

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Conversations (1)

  • Doug Marlowe
    As a Rolleiflex user myself, i can attest to its magical abilities to transform the mundane into visual wonderment. Composing in 3D allows me to use both sides of my brain. Nothing compares to a Rollei for that trick.
    • Posted By Doug Marlowe
    • December 18, 2011 at 8:10AM
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