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New Series to Highlight Museum's Collection, Begins with Rauschenberg Exhibition

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Robert Rauschenberg’s World, on view at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art through June 10, 2017, features prints by one of the most renowned American artists of the 20th century.

The first in a series titled New Friends, Old Friends: Works from the Collection, this introductory exhibition includes two mural-scaled, mixed-media prints on stainless steel along with a selection of photo lithographs on paper. Dating from the 1960s and 1990s, these works represent two important periods of experimentation and innovation in Robert Rauschenberg’s career.

“Perhaps it is unexpected to find the artwork of Robert Rauschenberg in Stillwater, Okla.,” said Victoria Rowe Berry, OSU Museum of Art Director. “We are counting on this exhibition to entice visitors to experience these complex and thought-provoking works of art.”

In the late 1950s, Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008), along with Jasper Johns, laid the groundwork for the Pop Art movement and artists such as Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist. Rauschenberg’s early work ranged from performance art to what became known as combines—works that integrated discarded objects from everyday life into paintings and, on occasion, sculptures.

Rauschenberg also began making prints in the 1960s, going on to become an accomplished printmaker. Echoing his combines, his prints consist of montages of mass media images taken from newspaper and magazine clippings as well as video stills. The artist carefully selected these images to make open-ended comments about contemporary culture.

On long-term loan from a private collection, the two prints on stainless steel are representative of Rauschenberg’s continuing dedication to social concerns. They grew out of a six-year tour of Latin America, South America, Europe, and Asia, during which he created and exhibited works inspired by his travels and dedicated to promoting world peace and cultural awareness.

Rauschenberg’s art can be found in major collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Dallas Museum of Art. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the National Medal of Arts, the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts, and Distinguished Humanitarian Donor from Doctors Without Borders.

New Friends, Old Friends: Works from the Collection will spotlight various eras and types of artwork in the upcoming years by offering a range of exhibitions featuring works from the OSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

“Our commitment to this exhibition provides many opportunities to create new friends and old friends—knowing that they will be here the next time you visit,” Berry said.

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